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Who was the Bengals’ best free agency signing?

The Bengals made a few free agency moves this offseason, but which one was the best?

Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Bengals’ 2017 free agency period has been another one more defined by major offseason losses than additions. Now that the majority of the big deals have been completed, we’re stepping back and remembering the deals that were able to be signed, rather than wallowing in the misery of losing key players like Andrew Whitworth, Kevin Zeitler, Domata Peko, and Rex Burkhead.

So far, the Bengals have made a few notable moves on the free agent market. As always, their moves were primarily in-house to keep some of their own players, but they did make a few outside free agency moves as well. Which signing was the best?

Eric Winston

After losing both Whitworth and Zeitler, it was nice to see the Bengals maintain some level of consistency on the offensive line. Winston isn’t quite the same player he used to be when he started at right tackle for the Houston Texans. But, since 2014, he has been one of the Bengals’ most reliable backups, providing lots of help in 2016 when the right tackle position went through a major personnel change.

Brandon LaFell

LaFell’s return to the Bengals after being signed as an outside free agent from the Patriots in the 2016 offseason was met with much less fanfare than when they originally brought him on. But, LaFell absolutely deserved a contract extension. He was brought to Cincinnati to replace Marvin Jones and put up marginally better numbers in the process. Going from Jones to LaFell wasn’t exactly an upgrade, but it was a solid consolation for losing a great No. 2 receiver. Going forward, LaFell’s presence should help stabilize the Bengals’ offensive attack.

Cedric Peerman

Arguably one of the most underrated signings across the NFL, the Bengals extended third string running back Peerman’s contract for one more season. However, despite being the third string running back, he is a fantastic presence in the locker room, a team leader, a Pro Bowl caliber special teams player, as well as the special teams captain. The Bengals already lost offensive leader Whitworth and defensive leader Peko, so it was nice that they at least kept the leader of their third unit.

Kevin Minter

In a move that eschewed the usual tendencies of the Cincinnati Bengals, the team signed a young, talented linebacker who is just entering his prime in Kevin Minter. Minter signed a relatively cheap deal at $4.25 million for one year, but it is the kind of contract that will allow the Bengals to decide if they want to keep him around long-term based on his 2017 performance. Given the number of questions at linebacker in 2017, it was a good signing that both takes care of an important need an injects young talent into the roster.

Andre Smith

The Bengals decided to bring back their No. 6 overall pick from the 2009 NFL Draft this offseason after a failed stint with the Minnesota Vikings. Smith held down the Bengals’ right tackle spot for seven years before signing with Mike Zimmer and the Vikings. However, he missed most of the season with a triceps injury, giving the Vikings no choice but to not re-sign him. It is being reported that the Bengals are planning to use Smith on the inside at guard instead of tackle, which is an interesting choice as he has always been considered a pure tackle in the NFL. However, after the team let Zeitler go to Cleveland, they had to do something about the right guard position in case Christian Westerman or T.J. Johnson aren’t ready to start by Week 1.

Dre Kirkpatrick

The Bengals’ re-signing of Dre Kirkpatrick has been called overrated, and all sorts of not-so-nice things by fans and analysts alike. But, the fact of the matter is the Bengals’ cornerback position needs stability now more than ever with Adam Jones’ age and off-field behavior becoming more and more of an issue. Without any tangible development from Darqueze Dennard, the unproven status of William Jackson III, and the continued development of KeiVarae Russell and Josh Shaw, Kirkpatrick is the only player who currently makes sense for the starting spot.

What do you think, Bengals fans? Who was the Bengals’ best free agency signing? Answer in the poll below or let us know your thoughts in the comments!


What was the Bengals’ best free agency signing?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Brandon LaFell
    (91 votes)
  • 2%
    Cedric Peerman
    (36 votes)
  • 58%
    Kevin Minter
    (764 votes)
  • 9%
    Andre Smith
    (124 votes)
  • 21%
    Dre Kirkpatrick
    (281 votes)
  • 1%
    Eric Winston
    (14 votes)
1310 votes total Vote Now