The Bengals' position group lacking the most depth heading into the 2016 season is undoubtedly wide receiver.
With that in mind, it's unsurprising that Pro Football Talk is reporting the Bengals and Brandon LaFell are closing in on a deal to send the former Patriots receiver to Cincinnati. LaFell visited with the Bengals last week in Cincinnati.
With Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu now playing for other teams, the Bengals will need to add at least two wide receivers to the offseason roster to compete for their playing time. While a rookie wide receiver is (or two) is likely to join the Bengals via the Draft, it makes sense to sign a veteran like LaFell who has NFL experience, including winning a Super Bowl.
LaFell was a major player in the Patriots run at Super Bowl XLIX, but a foot injury derailed his 2015 season, causing him to miss the offseason training period and spend the first half of the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list. After a 74 catch, 953 yard and 7 touchdown season in 2014, LaFell followed that up by playing in just 11 games and making 37 catches for 515 yards in 2015.
With the Bengals' options limited as far as veteran receivers on the free agent market go, LaFell could be the receiver the Bengals feel will best fit into their 2016 plans. Though drops plagued him in 2015, his 2014 campaign showed he can be successful. The Bengals can use LaFell as a No. 2 wide receiver until the rookie(s) they draft this season is ready to take on the role.
Because LaFell was cut by the Patriots this offseason, he won't count against any compensatory picks the Bengals will get in 2017.