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Top 5 Bengals set to become free agents

We take a look at the five Bengals who are free agents the Bengals should make a priority to keep

Top 5 Bengals set to become free agents

The Bengals are seemingly going into a bit of a rebuilding phase with the team lacking talent at several positions and a QB the unanimous favorite for the first-overall pick.

However, one of the biggest benefits of drafting a QB of the future is having a QB under cheap team control for five years. With that in mind, the Bengals should maintain a win-now mode and try to build a team to allow their theoretical QB pick to thrive early on in their career.

With that idea in mind, let’s take a look at the five free agents the Bengals should look the most to keep.

1. A.J. Green

This one was the easiest one to decide, although deciding how to keep him will be tough with the franchise tag looking easily the most likely. Despite the fact that he missed all of 2019, there is no reason to believe that Green wouldn’t be able to still be a top receiver if he stayed healthy. Allowing a rookie QB to come into a WR group that includes Green, Boyd and Ross would really ease the transition to the pros, especially if those three guys can finally be used up to their full potential. Green helped ease Dalton’s transition into the pros their rookie years. Now it is looking likely he will do the same for another rookie.

2. Brandon Wilson

When he was drafted no one really expected Wilson to make much of an impact on defense with him being incredibly raw in that aspect in college. However, in that aspect he played relatively well when needed this past season and can provide valuable depth and an athleticism few on the team offer. The bigger value though is his special teams value which everyone knows the team values a lot. Wilson adds a level of danger to Bengals returns that has been missing for a long time and a pairing of him and Darius Phillips at returner would be very scary.

3. Andrew Billings

The Bengals drafted Billings knowing that he was very young and still had a long way to go to reach his sky high potential. Well he missed his rookie year with an injury and then his sophomore season he was still clearly being affected by the injury. These last two seasons finally healthy and continuing the growth he showed at Baylor, Billings has flashed the ability to be a monster against both the run and pass. While he has failed to put it together consistently he offers a level of explosion rarely seen from the nose tackle position. And with the way the Bengals like to rotate defensive lineman, keeping him around for a reasonable price would be a very good idea.

4. Nick Vigil

Vigil has shown gradual improvements each year of his career to becoming close to average, which for this linebacker group is a clear starter. He may not be perfect and may be nearing his ceiling, but he would be better than anyone they could get off the street. With Germaine Pratt also improving with each game he played, the linebacker position is looking a lot better than it has in awhile. It could still use investment, but if Vigil is retained it is not nearly as much of a priority.

5. Tyler Eifert

The Bengals may have just drafted Drew Sample in the second round and given C.J. Uzomah a contract extension, but it was clear during the season who the best tight end on the team still was. While Sample will hopefully still be the future of the position, this goes back to the opportunity of having a young rookie QB. Surrounding him with talented weapons is the best direction to go. Signing Eifert back on a one year contract and including Sample more as the season goes on to hopefully have him be the top guy at tight end by 2021 would be an ideal situation.