The Cincinnati Bengals shocked the world with their addition of Orlando Brown Jr. late on Wednesday night, agreeing to terms on a four-year deal worth $64 million. It was quite a shock for fans, as the team had been nearly silent until that point but now we know why that was the case.
The addition means that the Bengals will be shifting their offensive line around a bit for the 2023 season and it's something that needs to happen. The Bengals could have won titles in each of the last two years but their seasons came to a close when the offensive line couldn't get the job done and hold up long enough. That shouldn't be the case now that they've heavily invested in the o-line in back-to-back offseasons.
Let's take a look at what the offensive line depth chart could look like for Cincinnati in 2023.
Starting Left Tackle: Orlando Brown Jr.
Backups: Jackson Carman, D'Ante Smith, Devin Cochran
The Bengals didn't spend all of that dough to have Brown play a position he doesn't want to play. Bengals fans might remember Brown playing right tackle with the Ravens several years ago but he was traded to Kansas City because he wanted to play left tackle and they already had someone in that spot.
Brown is going to play left tackle and that means there will be some shifting on the line, as Jonah Williams was previously slated to start there. I know some fans thought Jackson Carman might be worth a look at left tackle but it's pretty clear that he's nothing more than a backup at this point.
Starting Left Guard: Cordell Volson
Backup: Nate Gilliam
The Bengals might end up looking to upgrade the left guard position but if they don't, it'll be Volson lining up in this spot for the second straight year. Volson was a fun story, having been a fourth-round rookie last summer and beating Jackson Carman out for the starting left guard gig.
Volson was good, but not great and there's certainly room for improvement at this spot. It's not a major concern for the team but if a key player falls to them in the draft who could play this position better than Volson, pull the trigger.
Starting Center: Ted Karras
Backup: Trey Hill, Ben Brown
The Bengals signed Karras hours into the legal tampering period last year and he played well during his first season in Cincinnati. There's no reason to believe he won't be the starting center unless something terrible happens (knock on wood).
Starting Right Guard: Alex Cappa
Backup: Max Scharping if re-signed
Cincinnati had a good thing going with their o-line until Cappa was injured in Week 18 right before the postseason kicked off. Cappa was arguably the best player on the offensive line in 2022 though and proved to be worth the money he earned last offseason.
Much like with Karras, there's no reason for Cappa not to be starting at his 2022 position when the 2023 season kicks off.
Starting Right Tackle: Jonah Williams
Backups: La'el Collins, Hakeem Adeniji
With Brown joining the stripes, Williams' time as the starting left tackle has ended. He will be moved to the other side of the line and this likely means that Collins is on his way out of Cincinnati after just one season as their starting right tackle.
Williams might fare better on the right side anyway so perhaps this is the best situation for all parties involved. If he puts together an impressive season, he has a chance to make some nice dough in the 2024 offseason.