It is no secret that Cedric Ogbuehi hasn’t played well enough since being drafted in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. The Bengals have found a replacement for his job at left tackle by trading back in the first round this year while acquiring Cordy Glenn from the Bills. Ogbuehi should still have every chance to compete this offseason, but if he doesn’t show any progression from last year, could the Bengals part ways with him?
And if they do, is he really the most talented player that the Bengals could cut this offseason? Bleacher Report seems to think so as they named Ogbuehi in their article of the best player who could be cut by each NFL team:
Cedric Ogbuehi has been a disappointment in his three years with the Cincinnati Bengals. While the 2015 first-round pick has started 25 games, he hasn’t locked down the left tackle position as Cincinnati had hoped.
”Ogbuehi is my least favorite OL in league,” former NFL offensive lineman Ross Tucker tweeted in 2016. “Can’t stand watching him play.”
The Bengals traded to acquire Cordy Glenn from the Bills this offseason to shore up their left tackle spot. Ogbuehi should get a chance to compete at a different position, perhaps at guard or against Jake Fisher at right tackle, but Cincinnati ultimately may decide to cut its losses.
The Bengals have already declined Ogbuehi’s fifth-year option, and they could save around $1.3 million this year by cutting him. Though he hasn’t worked out in Cincinnati, his draft pedigree and age (26) should help him draw interest from teams willing to give him a second chance.
This is a pretty big insult to every other player who could be cut by the Bengals. I get Ogbuehi was a first round pick, but what has he done to deserve the recognition of being the best anything? I mean I feel like Michael Johnson and Brandon LaFell should feel miffed by this (because they totally read lists like these, right?).
Ogbuehi was drafted after suffering an ACL tear for which the recovery took up most of his rookie season. Then the Bengals tried to start him at right tackle in 2016 with very poor results. However, the Bengals decided they could let Andrew Whitworth walk and be able to plug in Ogbuehi at left tackle and be fine. They also didn’t draft any offensive linemen in the 2017 draft. That helped lead to the awful 2017 offensive line that we would all like to forget.
One thing that is working in Ogbuehi’s favor for this upcoming offseason is Frank Pollack coming over from the Cowboys to take over as the offensive line coach. It is possible that a fresh voice and set of eyes can get something out of what was supposed to be a promising mold. Maybe Pollack will be able to clean up something about Ogbuehi’s technique, or find him a position where he can be productive.
With that said, there’s almost no chance Ogbuehi will be cut this offseason. Even if it saves the Bengals cap space they will hold onto him and use him as at least a backup through the end of his rookie deal. The team did decline his fifth year option, so he will hit free agency in March 2019 anyway. It is far more likely a player like Johnson or LaFell who are at positions where the Bengals have an abundance of players could see the end of their careers with the Bengals this year.