Free agent and trade targets the Bengals should pursue immediately

Cincinnati Bengals
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The Cincinnati Bengals were extremely fortunate with injuries last season, however, injuries are becoming a concern for this team as the season progresses. The defensive unit has been without D.J. Reader for multiple weeks, and the same may be true for Logan Wilson. Tee Higgins has been in and out of the lineup on the offensive side of the ball. Jonah Williams is banged up with a knee injury, and La'El Collins' back injury continues to linger.

The Bengals desperately need to go on a run in this upcoming stretch of the season, one many have called the easiest part of their schedule. Targeting veterans and talented pieces through free agency or trade would help this team tremendously.

Here are a few names that would make sense for the Bengals:

Cincinnati Bengals: Free Agent Targets

Cincinnati Bengals
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DT Sheldon Richardson

With D.J. Reader and Josh Tupou out with injury, the Bengals defensive line is becoming increasingly thin. Sheldon Richardson is a veteran who could come in and make plays instantly. Richardson has experience with short-term contracts in the NFL, as well as having experience in the AFC North.

Richardson appeared in 17 games last season with the Minnesota Vikings. If the Bengals are looking for a veteran that can stay healthy, Richardson hasn't played less than 10 games in a season since entering the league in 2013.

DE Dee Ford

Teams that can consistently get after the passer make a run in the playoffs. Tre Hendrickson was nearly impossible to block last season, causing him to receive much more attention this year from opposing offensive lines. Sam Hubbard has stepped up in a big way, yet the Bengals rank 29th in sacks recorded this season.

Dee Ford is a player that made a name for himself in this league for his quickness off the edge. While he hasn't had a truly productive season in a few years, it certainly wouldn't hurt for the Bengals to see what he still has left in the tank.

OL Daryl Williams

The Bengals got lucky with Jonah Williams knee; that news could have been much worse than it was. The fact that he was able to not miss time was impressive. Regardless, the Bengals are an injury away from forcing Hakeem Adeniji or D'Ante Smith into action. Both have proven to fans that they are not capable of protecting our franchise quarterback the way we need them to.

Daryl Williams started 17 games last season for Buffalo, even playing guard and tackle on the right side at some point throughout the season. In previous seasons, Williams made starts at left guard and left tackle. Bringing in a veteran like Williams into this offensive live would be a great insurance piece to have. Outside of center, Williams would be the best option to step in and play at the four other offensive line positions.

Cincinnati Bengals: Trade Targets

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DT Daron Payne

The Washington Commanders are looking an intense rebuild right the eyes. The team is falling far behind the rest of the NFC East and they do not have a franchise quarterback on their roster. Teams with that recipe tend to sell pieces to increase their draft capital.

The Commanders best unit has always been their defensive line; losing Payne wouldn't set this team back in their rebuild process. Not to mention, Payne is on the final year of an expiring contract. Payne will likely go elsewhere in free agency, so why wouldn't the Commanders get compensation for him while they can?

When healthy, Daron Payne and D.J. Reader could be the best interior duo in the NFL. Payne has recorded five tackles for loss through six games this year, putting him on pace for a career year.

WR Kendrick Bourne

Not to be overcritical of Mike Thomas, but he truly adds nothing to the offense when he steps on the field. During both the Steelers and Ravens game, Thomas played significant snaps; he combined for 2 catches for 38 yards. He simply is just not a threat to opposing defenses.

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Kendrick Bourne is a name that is circling the trade block. The New England Patriots have a crowded receiver room, and it appears Bourne is on the outs. The 27-year-old receiver is coming off his best season as a pro, totaling 800 receiving yards and five touchdowns. Bourne is on the second season of a three-year contract in New England, so the price to obtain him shouldn't be large.