Week 1 is in the books and with that, the Cincinnati Bengals' offseason is over. As great as it was, there were still a few disappointing aspects from an otherwise good off-season. Let's tackle them here.
Jackson Carman not grabbing starting role
Last year when he was drafted in the second round, the hope was that Carman would be the starting right guard for the offensive line needy Bengals. He did start a handful of games, but he never wrestled away the job from Hakeem Adeniji.
There was hope heading into this offseason that a move back to the left side would yield better results from the young lineman. He was handed the starting left guard job but lost it to Cordell Volson, a fourth-round pick who played tackle for an FCS school in North Dakota State.
Now, the Bengals are starting a rookie with a potentially steep learning curve instead of a high draft choice in his second year.
Cincinnati has not entirely given up on Carman. They had an opportunity to release or trade him, but they did not. However, we do not know if the team tried to trade him. And even if they did, were there suitors for his services and contract?
The Bengals would have been hit with $3,198,569 in dead money against the cap and zero cap savings this year, per Over the Cap, if the team decided to move on from Carman. However, that changes headed into the 2023 season. As a result, Cincinnati could potentially release him with a much less sum of $1,389,076 in dead money.
So if Carman is going to be with the Bengals headed into next season, he has to show a vast improvement over what the team has seen out of him thus far. If not, he will go down as one of the more disappointing draft selections in Zac Taylor’s tenure thus far.
The consolation here is that we get to see what Volson can do very early as he takes on the best pass-rushing defenses in the NFL. Hopefully, we will find out together that he is indeed up to the task. Also, nothing is written in stone for Carman, and he still has an opportunity to turn things around.