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Bengals could’ve signed NFL sack leader Shaquil Barrett in free agency

This would’ve been a much-needed addition.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals have been downright awful on both sides of the ball this season.

A poor offense has led to additional time on the field for the defense which has, in turn, forced both to look subpar. After all, the Bengals are the only winless team in the league so they clearly aren’t doing too many things correctly.

However, a team that hasn’t had much luck attracting free agents passed on the NFL’s sack leader this offseason, according to a report from The Athletic’s Dan Pompei.

“Shaq’s first stop was Cincinnati, and he thought it was going to be his last stop. But the Bengals wanted to be sure a shoulder injury Shaq had sustained during the previous season was sufficiently healed before they proceeded. They took an MRI and didn’t like what they saw. They pulled the offer, and Shaq visited the Bucs,” The Athletic’s Dan Pompei wrote.

The Bengals have just nine sacks on the season. They are the only team with more than the 1-7 Falcons who have just seven. Well, Shaquil Barrett, who accounts for over half of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sacks, could’ve been a Bengal.

Barrett, leading the league with 10.5 sacks, was in Cincinnati and offered a contract before the Bengals withdrew said offer. This is quite possible the most Bengal thing to have happened this season.

Coming into the season, the Bengals didn’t view defensive line as a huge need of theirs. After all, they had Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins along with young stud Sam Hubbard. That line doesn’t exactly scream “spend you money on me” with so many other lacking areas for Cincinnati.

Now we know that they should of pulled the trigger on a deal with Barrett. Atkins and Dunlap have been ghosts of their former selves while Barrett is unlocking a new level to his play.

That said, Barrett signed a one-year, $4 million deal after his initial two-year $14 million deal from Cincinnati had been pulled. Since then, it’s seemingly been a win-win for both sides as Barrett will be in store for a much larger contract this upcoming offseason.