The Bengals did a lot to improve their offensive line this offseason. But after Week 1, it appears they did not do enough.
Newcomer Bobby Hart was awarded the right tackle position, seemingly beating out incumbents Jake Fisher and Cedric Ogbuehi. Hart had his struggles with his former team in the New York Giants, and they seemed to have followed him to Cincinnati. Here are 6 available players who couldn’t be worse than Hart, because the Bengals’ current right tackle shouldn’t keep his job for long.
Howard started 16 games at right tackle for the Baltimore Ravens last season, but is currently available as a free agent after failing to make the cut for the Indianapolis Colts this year. He has eight years of NFL experience and has started full seasons at right tackle for the New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders in addition to the Ravens. Howard is probably the best option available and definitely the most experienced at the position.
Kouandjio was drafted in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. He dealt with some injuries in Buffalo and was never able to catch on. He spent last season with the Denver Broncos and made one start at right tackle. The 6’7”, 322 pound Kouandjio is still only 25-years-old and may be worth a shot as a free agent acquisition.
If nothing else, Norton certainly gets bonus points for having a cool name. Norton is a second year player out of Toledo who was signed as by the Detroit Lions as an undrafted free agent and later acquired by the Arizona Cardinals. He is currently on the Minnesota Vikings practice squad. The 6’8”, 311 pound Norton is an unknown commodity who has not seen any action in the regular season.
Joeckel was the second overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, but never lived up to his potential. He started for the Jacksonville Jaguars at left tackle for two seasons, but was moved to guard in his final season with the team. Joeckel played guard for the Seattle Seahawks in 2017 and is currently a free agent. He has never been able to stick, but may be worth giving a shot at right tackle as a stop gap player for the season.
Boone was a stud left tackle at Ohio State who has played guard during his NFL career. He has started 86 games over the last six seasons for the San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings, and Arizona Cardinals. Boone has had some success in the NFL and played tackle as a pro.
Winston has been the Bengals’ go-to guy in desperate situations before. He is by no means the answer, but he has been better than other terrible options in the past, and that may just be the situation the Bengals are facing again. Winston is available and has been just a phone call away for the Bengals in past years.