The Cincinnati Bengals know exactly how the Philadelphia Eagles are feeling after the birds fell to the Chiefs in the Super Bowl on Sunday night. It's a lousy feeling but as the old saying goes, "There's always next year".
The Eagles have 19 players set to hit unrestricted free agency but there's one in particular that Bengals fans would love to see in the black and orange stripes in 2023 and beyond. That player is Chauncey Gardner-Johnson.
Gardner-Johnson would be the perfect addition to Bengals' defense
The Saints drafted Gardner-Johnson in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft and then traded him away for a bag of peanuts last offseason. The Eagles were thrilled to have the play-making defensive back at their disposal, as he tallied a career-high six interceptions and had eight defended passes in 12 regular season games.
With the Bengals set to lose potentially both Jessie Bates and Vonn Bell in the offseason, the team is going to need help at the safety position. It's entirely possible that Bell comes back but Bates is likely a goner. Pairing Bell and Gardner-Johnson would put this secondary in great shape in 2023 and beyond.
The problem, of course, comes down to the contract. PFF projects the former Eagle to receive a three-year deal worth $34.5 million ($11.5 million per year) while Spotrac projects him to receive a four-year deal worth $66 million per year ($13.3 million per year). Obviously, the PFF deal is more favorable and one the Bengals could actually afford but that Spotrac one... not so much.
There's no debating that Chauncey Gardner-Johnson would make this Bengals defense better. He needs to be a target for the team in free agency.