The Cincinnati Bengals have gotten a ton of production from DJ Reader and fortunately, they get him for at least one more year. Reader was originally a fifth-round pick by the Houston Texans out of Clemson in 2016 and spent four years there before signing with the Bengals in 2020.
While Reader only appeared in five games during his inaugural season in Cincinnati, he proved he was worth the contract the following year and has only gotten better since then. This past year, he finished the 2022 regular season with an overall PFF grade of 87.3.
What should Bengals fans expect from DJ Reader in 2023?
There's good and bad news with Reader this year. The bad is that he's entering the final year of his original four-year deal and with him entering his age-29 season it wouldn't be surprising if Cincinnati opted not to re-sign him since he'd be considered an "older player".
The good news is that Reader is still under contract this year and entering a contract year, which means he'll be motivated to play his best ball. The Bengals will reap the benefits of that.
Reader is one of the best defensive linemen the team has and he'll be in the thick of the trenches throughout the season, assuming he's healthy. He did miss six games last year due to injury but when he was on the field, he made a difference.
A realistic expectation for Reader this year is for him to start double-digit games and make a tremendous impact against the run.