If this were any other offseason, offensive guard Clint Boling wouldn't generate much conversation. Honestly, the free agents that are headed to the market this year are relatively boring, thus allowing Boling to be viewed with far more favoritism than what he garnered during the past season. In addition to that, Mike Pollak has already been released. Next year, this team will face a tsunami wave of free agents, from Andrew Whitworth to Andre Smith and even Kevin Zeitler... We must be drafting an offensive lineman, after we re-sign Boling of course.
It's actually more troubling than that. Disregarding the obvious draft selections and contract extensions that will be signed until then, the Cincinnati Bengals only have four offensive lineman signed in 2016 (per Spotrac): Russell Bodine, Tanner Hawkinson, Trey Hopkins and Dan France.
Regardless, Boling becomes the next in a series of dominoes that will soon fall for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Pro Football Focus ranked Boling as the third-best offensive guard headed to free agency this March.
A key cog in the Bengals’ offensive line since his sophomore season in 2012, Boling turned in his best season as a run blocker this season though his pass protection failed to match his first two seasons as a starter. From their impressive Week 11 victory in New Orleans, Boling earned a run block grade of +1.5 or higher in five out of six games. Prior to that he had only earned a single game run block grade that high twice in his career.
If Boling can pair that run blocking form with his pass protection from 2012 and 2013 then Boling will be a guard on the rise over his next contract. However, if he moves away from Cincinnati and the Bengals quick release offense then his pass protection will come under greater scrutiny.