The Bengals’ offensive line is in the midst of a major transition, and Michael Jordan could play a big part in it.
After all, the Bengals seemed to really like what they saw in the former Ohio State Buckeyes lineman, as the team traded up to select Jordan in Round 4 of the 2019 NFL Draft. The deal was with the Cowboys to acquire the 136th pick in exchange for the 149th and 213rd picks.
Ironically, it was Jordan was who replaced Billy Price at center for the Buckeyes this past season after Price was the Bengals’ first-round pick in 2018. However, Jordan spent most of his career at left guard, which is what he’s expected to play in the NFL.
With Clint Boling’s contract running out and newly-signed John Jerry under contract for just one season, Jordan could be who ultimately becomes the team’s left guard for 2020 and beyond. But if nothing else, he should become a valuable backup who gives Cincinnati depth at guard and center, a role which Trey Hopkins has effectively held for the last two seasons (Hopkins is also a free agent in 2020).
In addition to being someone the Bengals traded up for, there’s more incentive to keep him for at least one year due to his potential dead cap hit of nearly $500K. While it doesn’t seem like much, there’s always going to be a host of players with dead cap hits who get cut, so tacking on another $500K to it can make that total number a little higher than Mike Brown is comfortable with.
Here is a look at Jordan’s contract via Over The Cap:
The Bengals will have an interesting battle at guard and center this season that includes Jerry, Hopkins and Christian Westerman.
There’s a chance Boling is a cap casualty, but until that happens, he’s the presumed starting left guard. John Miller is effectively locked in as the right guard and Billy Price at center. That means there’s likely just two, maybe three more interior lineman spots for Jordan to claim.
But between his versatility and being under contract for four years, I’d expect Jordan to make the 53-man roster.