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Report: Bengals will go after big-money cornerback in free agency

It’s pretty hard to believe that this rumor is anything more than a rumor.

NFL: Super Bowl LI-New England Patriots Press Conference Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals rarely ever go after big-name (or big-money) free agents. And from everything we’ve heard from the team so far this offseason, we should expect that to remain the case in 2017.

However, a recent report from Draft Analyst’s Tony Pauline suggests the Bengals have their eyes on a particular free agent who’s expected to command a massive contract in free agency.

Word is the Cincinnati Bengals could use the money they won’t be spending on Kevin Zeitler and use it on a big named cornerback.

The belief is Logan Ryan will be the player they target if he does not re-sign with the Patriots though the market for the cornerback will be competitive and expensive.

The Bengals have their own starting cornerback who’s about to hit free agency in Dre Kirkpatrick, a former first round pick who has spent five years with the team. Logan is expected to net much more money on the free agent market and has spent the entirety of his young NFL career in New England. Spotrac projects Ryan will make $14.4 million per year on a five year, $72,236,563 deal when he signs his next contract. That’s far more than I see the Bengals paying a free agent cornerback, especially one who has no experience with the team.

Logan was originally a third round pick by the Patriots in the 2013 NFL Draft and is expected to be among the Patriots' free agent priority signings. The Super Bowl 51 winner was a major part of New England's Super Bowl run, serving mostly as the team's CB2. Per Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, that the Patriots will let Logan hit the market on March 9 and take it from there.

In 2016, Pro Football Focus ranked Logan as the NFL's 16th best cornerback, after his best season in the league with an 83.5 (above average) PFF grade. The service is not as high on Kirkpatrick who ranked as PFF's 53rd best cornerback with a 74.7 (average) grade.

You’d have to imagine that if the Bengals go after Ryan, they will not also be re-signing Kirkpatrick. But, this report is more than likely nothing more than a rumor. Maybe the Bengals are trying to create some confusion regarding their true free agency plans by releasing some fake reports

What do you think about the idea that the Bengals could sign Ryan in free agency?