The Cincinnati Bengals thought they had their right tackle of the future when they signed La'el Collins to a three-year deal last offseason but things didn't go according to plan there. Collins missed time at the end of the season with an injury and even when he was healthy, he wasn't that great.
The Bengals might end up moving on from Collins after just one season and they can afford to do so. According to Spotrac, the Bengals can save roughly $6 million if they move on from Collins before June 1 and can save roughly $7 million if they move on from him after June 1.
If Cincinnati does decide to part ways with Collins, they need to be aggressive and add Mike McGlinchey to their starting offensive line. McGlinchey is the 10th-best free agent this offseason according to PFF but he'll be expensive. Brad Spielberger projects the 49ers right tackle to earn a four-year deal worth $62 million with an annual salary of $15.5 million.
Mike McGlinchey needs to be a priority for Bengals
I understand that Cincinnati probably won't shell out this kind of money for McGlinchey but we can dream, right? The team has to extend Joe Burrow and also need to consider if they're going to extend Tee Higgins and Logan Wilson as well. There are also some big names hitting free agency, such as Vonn Bell, Germaine Pratt, and Hayden Hurst that they'd like to keep as well.
McGlinchey might not have lived up to his first-round expectations but he played really well in 2022, earning PFF grades of 71.5 (overall), 65.6 (pass-blocking), and 73.3 (run-blocking). He'd be the perfect addition to the Bengals offensive line and could be what helps get them over that Super Bowl hump.