Grading the Cincinnati Bengals biggest moves in free agency so far this year

The Bengals have been busy.

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Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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The Cincinnati Bengals have been pretty active in free agency early on this year. The team has ample cap space to work with, and so far the front office has been putting that money to good use by addressing some major areas of need.

While the Bengals are likely far from done making moves over the offseason, the first wave of free agent singings is in the books. So, now seems like a good time to grade Cincinnati's biggest signings so far. Here's how they look.

Geno Stone, Safety

Deal: Two-year, $15 million

ESPN NFL insider Matt Miller gave this signing an "A+" and called it the "steal of the free agent class" so far. And understandably so. The Bengals desperately needed help in the secondary, and Stone should provide that in spades. As a result, the addition of Stone could prove to be as impactful as any move made by Cincinnati over the offseason. Plus, it helps that they stole him from a division rival.

Stone has proven that he can force turnovers, as he led the AFC in interceptions last season. He was a difference-maker in Baltimore's secondary last season, and there's no reason to believe he can't have a similar impact with the Bengals.

Grade: A

Zack Moss, Running back

Deal: Two-year, $8 million

This move is a little bit more of a question mark. Moss is coming in to replace Joe Mixon, who was traded to the Houston Texans for a seventh round draft pick. Mixon is coming off of the fourth 1,000-plus yard season of his career, and has been a major factor in Cincinnati's offense for the past seven seasons.

Moss, meanwhile, has never ran for over 1,000 yards in a single season, but he is coming off of the best campaign of his career. Moss had 794 yards and five touchdowns on 183 attempts for the Colts last season -- all of those numbers represent career highs. He also added 27 receptions for 192 yards and two more touchdowns.

Parting ways with Mixon was a cost-cutting move for the Bengals, but we'll have to wait and see if Moss can have a similar impact in Cincinnati's backfield. At the least, the Bengals didn't overpay for his services, as $4 million annually is a reasonable rate for a running back.


Grade: B

Mike Gesicki, Tight end

Deal: One-year, $3.25 million

This is a value signing for a team that needed some depth at the tight end position as Gesicki has been a productive player throughout his career. Gesicki has never had less than 20 receptions and 200 receiving yards in a single season, and he has tallied 20 touchdowns over the course of his career.

As a result, Gesicki should provide the Bengals with a reliable pass-catcher and a real red zone threat. Plus, he came relatively cheap so his signing won't prevent the Bengals from bringing in another tight end if they want to. The team already re-signed Drew Sample, and could potentially bring back Tanner Hudson too. Given the size of the deal, Gesicki represents a low-risk, high-reward signing for Cincinnati.

Grade: B+

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