The Cincinnati Bengals have most of their positional needs under check, Although there are still names on the market that could provide some much-needed depth to the Bengals roster. Precisely at the defensive line and wide receiver positions.
However, with the recent Jessie Bates news and the possibility that he may not play with the team this year, adding a veteran defensive back, specifically a safety, could help even if Daxton Hill is the one that gets the Week 1 starting job alongside Vonn Bell.
Potential NFL Free Agent Targets For Bengals
5. Will Fuller
Will Fuller has battled injury his entire career, but anyone who watched him in college and seen what he can do when healthy knows he can be a severe threat. Of course, he would be forced to take a step back with the receivers’ trio already on the roster, but Fuller could provide some much-needed depth behind Chase, Higgins, and Boyd.
He would have to compete with a few players for that number four of five spots on the depth chart. Those players include Trenton Irwin, Mike Thomas, Pooka Williams, and some undrafted rookies trying to make their name and make the roster.
4. Anthony Hitchens
Anthony Hitchens would add a veteran presence to the defense and a much-needed depth piece to a position that battled many injuries last season. Logan Wilson, Joe Bachie, and Akeem Davis-Gaither all went down with injuries last year. Luckily Wilson returned by the playoffs to help the Bengals in a significant way.
Hitchens isn’t a Pro Bowl-level player at this point in his career. But he is still instrumental in many ways and has played for winning cultures yearly. For the last few seasons, he has been with the Kansas City Chiefs, which have made the AFC Championship game in four consecutive seasons and the Super Bowl in two out of the last four years. Hitchens probably wouldn’t get a starting nod, but he would find himself in the rotation, and if injuries were to occur like the previous year, he could be a tremendous addition.
3. Riley Reiff
Reiff was the Cincinnati Bengals’ starting right tackle last season. He wasn’t groundbreaking, but he did his job and was one of the more formattable linemen the Bengals had. Unfortunately, Reiff ended the season on the IR, which hurt his overall stock going into this season.
That is the main reason he is still on the market. Teams don’t know if his age and durability with hold up. He could be a type of player that gets signed mid-way through the season once teams start battling injuries.
Or, in a case like the Bengals, he could be a cheap depth signing with plenty of starting experience and already knows how Frank Pollack runs and uses his offensive line. Reiff would be a veteran capable of being a backup to either of the tackle positions behind La’el Collins and Jonah Williams. This would be a lovely addition to the Cincinnati front.
2. J.C. Tretter
This move could put the Bengals’ offensive line from solid to one of the best in the entire league. Tretter has been one of the league’s highest ranked and graded centers over the past 2-3 seasons.
The Browns released him mainly for financial reasons, but his contract off the books could open the door for the Bengals to sign him to a more team-friendly deal, especially as training camp approaches, and he’s still unsigned.
Tretter may be one of the best players remaining on the market, and even though he plays center, he could still fit perfectly into the offensive line. Ted Karras, who is expected to be the new center, also has plenty of experience at guard.
Potential offensive line if Tretter was signed:
LT: Jonah Williams, LG: Alex Cappa, C: J.C. Tretter, RG: Ted Karras, RT: La’el Collins
This could easily pave the way for one of the best offensive lines in the entire league. They would need to translate it to the football field, but it is a deep line with tons of proven experience and pure natural talent on paper.
1. Landon Collins
This move makes a lot of sense if Jessie Bates is traded. Daxton Hill is clearly viewed as the position’s future, but Vonn Bell becomes a free agent after the season, and Landon Collins is still a relatively young player. His poor tenure in Washington was not expected by any means, but when he was with the Giants, he was easily one of the best safeties in football.
Collins won’t receive any big deal this off-season. His potential is still there, but he is a player who needs to be in the right system to be successful. Cincinnati could be that spot. He is not at the level of Jessie Bates but alongside a guy like Bell and Hill, the position would be much more profound, and there still would be plenty of talent there to keep the defense up to par with how it played this past season.