The Bengals will be looking to shore up their front seven this offseason, and that may come with an outside free agent or two.
Though the team prefers to shy away from free agency, they do typically sign some role-player-type guys every offseason, and Keenan Robinson may fit that bill.
ESPN’s Josina Anderson reports that Robinson is visiting with the Bengals this week.
I'm told LB Keenan Robinson is traveling today for a visit with the #Bengals.— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 13, 2017
This past season, Robinson was a big part of the Giants defense and arguably their best coverage linebacker. The 27-year-old played the second-most snaps of all the Giants linebackers in 2016 while racking up 83 tackles and seven pass deflections.
That came after a three-year career with Washington, where he appeared in 36 games (21 starts) and making 183 tackles, six pass deflections and two interceptions.
He doesn’t offer much as a pass-rusher with just 1.5 career sacks, but he’d be a great asset to a Bengals defense that needs more speed and coverage.
Robinson did miss all of 2013 with a torn pectoral muscle, but he’s been relatively durable since then. He entered free agency last year and chose to sign a one-year, $2.6 million contract with the Giants, which he more than lived up to
We shouldn’t expect to see Robinson sign a deal that pays him any less, which may take him out of the Bengals’ price range. They’re only looking to spend $2-3 million more in free agency, and they hope that goes toward getting Rex Burkhead re-signed. Though, he has taken visits with the Falcons and Patriots.
The Bengals are also hosting free agent defensive end Connor Barwin today, who seems like a better fit for that final contract the Bengals give out. Barwin is a pass-rusher who adds to a defense severely lacking it, and he was released this offseason, meaning he won’t count against the compensatory draft pick formula.
Signing Robinson would count against potential 2018 compensatory draft picks, and we rarely see the Bengals sign outside free agents who weren’t cut by their previous team. Robinson would be a solid addition to the Bengals, but the team’s history suggests it won’t happen.