Bengals predicted to have turnaround season following free agency moves

Cincinnati will look to bounce back after missing the playoffs last season.
Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens
Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens / Rob Carr/GettyImages

After missing out on the playoffs last season, the Cincinnati Bengals are predicted to have a bounce back season in 2024 after an active start to free agency.

Judy Battista of recently listed seven teams poised for a turnaround after their offseason moves, and the Bengals came in at No. 4 on the list.

Cincinnati's key offseason additions so far include running back Zack Moss, tight end Mike Gesicki, defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, offensive tackle Trent Brown and safeties Vonn Bell and Geno Stone. Those additions plus a healthy Joe Burrow should be enough to thrust the Bengals back into postseason contention.


"Joe Burrow should be back to full health, so it is almost impossible to imagine the Bengals finishing last in the AFC North and missing the playoffs again, even in that loaded division. The signing of ex-Baltimore safety Geno Stone strengthened the defense and dealt a blow to the Ravens. Running back Zack Moss is more spry than the traded-away Joe Mixon. Mike Gesicki is an upgrade as a pass-catching tight end. And Trent Brown will step in at right tackle for the departed Jonah Williams."

Cincinnati's x-factor

While they appear to have improved, on paper at least, Cincinnati's success next season could still hinge on what the team decides to do with wide receiver Tee Higgins, who requested a trade at the onset of free agency. The Bengals don't have to trade Higgins since he's still under team control for next season via the franchise tag, but his future remains the most pressing question surrounding the team. listed Higgins' situation as the X-factor for the Bengals moving forward:

"The X-factor, though, is what the Bengals do about receiver Tee Higgins, who has asked for a trade after receiving the franchise tag. Higgins is a No. 1-caliber receiver talent, and the Bengals could simply ignore his wishes, but that could create an ugly distraction if Higgins holds out of camp. When Burrow is healthy, the Bengals have proven to be one of the few consistent threats to the Chiefs, but they will need Higgins to topple Kansas City."

There's no question that the Bengals are a more dangerous team with Higgins out on the field, but the team also doesn't need a distraction dragging into the season. Until a final decision is made regarding Higgins, it's tough to predict just how good the Bengals can be in 2024.