With training camp over, the Bengals are dangerously thin at cornerback.
It's a far cry from when camp opened when this was easily one of the team's biggest strengths, before injuries depleted it to the point it's now a major question mark.
William Jackson III is probably out for the year with a possible late-season return. Darqueze Dennard is dealing with an ankle injury that has his Week 1 status very much in the air.
That may leave Cincinnati with Dre Kirkpatrick, Adam Jones, Josh Shaw and Chris Lewis-Harris as the only viable corners entering Week 1.
We've seen how awful Chykie Brown has been. Darius Hillary has shown promise, but not enough to feel good about him being the fifth corner if needed.
All of this is why the Bengals may be better off adding one more corner before the regular season begins. The problem is, there isn't much to speak of on the free agent market.
The only name really worth mentioning is Antonio Cromartie. Now entering his 11th NFL season, Cromartie has been a stud corner for much of his career, not to mention a solid return man.
However, age has began catching up to the 32-year-old Cromartie. It’s led to a slow drop in his play over the past three years, enough that the Jets parted ways with him this offseason.
Cromartie likely could still be one of the Bengals’ three of four best corners if he signed with them. He possibly would even be a slight upgrade over Kirkpatrick.
Another interesting corner to kick the tires on could be Cortez Allen. It wasn’t that long ago that Allen was helping make life hard for the Bengals as a member of the Steelers’ secondary.
Allen played in 44 out of 48 regular season games between 2011 and 2013 and was one of the Steelers’ better corners. That led to the Steelers signing Allen to a four-year extension that added $24.6 million to his rookie contract.
Unfortunately, Allen was hit with the injury bug after that big deal. A thumb injury ended his 2014 season after 11 games, and a knee injury limited him to just one game in 2015. His play also dropped off in 2014 when he was healthy.
That’s why Allen has barely gotten a sniff this offseason. He might be someone the Bengals should work out.
Here is look at all of the notable free agent corners still on the market.
1. Antonio Cromartie
2. Trumaine McBride
3. Tarell Brown
4. Javier Arenas
5. Cortez Allen
6. Ras-I Dowling
7. Phillip Adams
8. Josh Wilson
9. Brandon McGee
10. Jayron Hosley