The Cincinnati Bengals signed Sidney Jones to join their secondary. What will the secondary look like now that Jones is in town?
For those who haven't heard of Jones before, he was a second-round pick out of Washington and played for the Eagles for the first three years of his career. Since then, he's spent time with the Jaguars, Seahawks, and Raiders. Now he'll be with his fourth team in four years but he should fit into Lou Anarumo's defense well.
As Jordan Schultz notes in the tweet above, Jones is only 26 years old so there's absolutely room for him to excel with his new team. As of this writing, Eli Apple hasn't signed anywhere and this move doesn't necessarily mean the Bengals won't bring him back.
Until we know what happens with Apple, however, let's take a look at how the Bengals secondary might look in 2023 now that Jones is in town.
Bengals secondary depth chart with Sidney Jones
Starting Cornerbacks: Chidobe Awuzie, Mike Hilton, Cam Taylor-Britt
This should be the starting trio at cornerback when the 2023 season gets underway. Of course, Awuzie is still going to be recovering from his ACL surgery and might not be ready to go Week 1. Even if he is, he might not be the same player he was before sustaining the injury.
Taylor-Britt showed a lot of promise near the back-end of his rookie season so fans are excited to see what year two brings from the former Nebraska product. Hilton is entering the final year of his contract (as is Awuzie) so he'll be out to prove that he's worthy of a big contract next offseason.
Starting Safeties: Dax Hill, Nick Scott
The Bengals were hit hard at safety this offseason when both Jessie Bates and Vonn Bell departed in free agency. Bates' departure was expected, Bell's was not.
Fear not though! The Bengals already had Hill waiting in the wings after spending a first-round pick on him in last year's draft. They then went out and signed Scott to a three-year deal to fill Bell's spot on the roster.
Cornerback depth: Jalen Davis, Allan George, Sidney Jones
The Bengals re-signed Davis earlier in the offseason, which was a no-brainer. He stepped in due to injuries last season and played well considering the circumstances. George was an undrafted free agent who fans didn't expect much from but he played quite well.
Jones will likely be the backup cornerback behind Taylor-Britt and it'll be nice to have an experienced vet behind a player who is entering only year two as a pro. This is a solid backup group of corners for the Bengals and they'll be in a good spot should they sustain any injuries to the starting unit.
Safety depth: Tycen Anderson, Michael Thomas, Brandon Wilson
Anderson was initially going to be a starter next to Hill but fortunately, the team signed Scott to ensure that wasn't the case. The fifth-round pick in the 2022 draft missed all of last year due to injuries but hopefully will be able to contribute this year.
Thomas and Wilson are mostly special teams players but if they're needed to step in, Lou Anarumo likely will feel comfortable with them in his secondary.