After debating what the Cincinnati Bengals would do with La'el Collins this offseason, the answer became a lot more clear after the team signed Orlando Brown in free agency. Collins is probably not in the team's future plans, especially considering that the team can save $7.7 million with a post-June 1 cut.
Brown spent the past two seasons with the Chiefs and despite mixed results, finished the 2022 season strong. He allowed just one pressure in the Super Bowl and only allowed four sacks during the entire season. His pressures surrendered (47) are a bit concerning but that's a story for a different day.
Brown joining the Bengals shifts the Bengals' offensive line, as it means that Jonah Williams will no longer be playing left tackle. He'll move over to the right side since he's set to make $12 million in 2023. Collins is the expendable one here and the Bengals, who might have been on the fence about what they wanted to do with him beforehand, have made their decision loud and clear.
Writing is on the wall for La'el Collins now
The Bengals signed Collins last offseason while trying to pull off a major overhaul of their offensive line. They had previously signed Alex Cappa to play right guard and Ted Karras to play center and when Collins became available, Bengals fans were thrilled at the thought of adding him.
When the team signed him, Collins talked a big game but left the fans feeling underwhelmed once they actually saw him play. His injury in Week 16 that caused him to miss the rest of the season didn't help his case and now it's nearly a certainty that Collins is one and done in Cincinnati.
Sometimes these kind of moves work out and sometimes, as is the case here, they're a major miss. Let's hope that the Brown signing is the former.