The Bengals made a splash on Day 2 of free agency, and it was a big one. Cincinnati gave former Texans defensive lineman D.J. Reader $53 million over four seasons. This deal makes Reader the highest paid nose tackle in the NFL, but you could make the argument that he is a little bit more versatile than being declared purely a nose tackle.
The Texans played Reader all over their defensive line. He was mostly used as a nose tackle, but there were times he lined up at defensive end in a 3-4 front. He was easily one of the most underrated players in this free agency class. He had 52 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 13 quarterback hits. He also wracked up a number of quarterback pressures. Not to mention he was an absolute beast at clogging up the run.
The Nelson vs. Reader matchup didn't disappoint & was a battle. As strong of a performance as you'll find from a DT against the best LG in football. Reader continues to be criminally underrated by the mainstream. pic.twitter.com/N8RFcsOER3— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) October 22, 2019
Reader fits right in next to Geno Atkins along the inside. He also will demand enough attention that opposing teams are going to have to be seriously worried about other guys like Carlos Dunlap, Sam Hubbard and Carl Lawson on the outside. It will be interesting to see how teams try to block a defensive front that has Atkins and Reader on the field at the same time. It certainly will be a tall task for any offensive line to give their quarterback an opportunity to step up.
There are likely fans that are very upset that the team couldn’t reel in a linebacker like Cory Littleton or Joe Schobert who signed elsewhere, but you could easily make the argument that Reader may have more impact than the linebackers for the money they got.
Either way, it has to be encouraging that the Bengals finally got off their wallets for an outside free agent who can have an impact.
What do you make of the Reader signing?
What do you think of the Bengals signing defensive lineman D.J. Reader?
This poll is closed
He was someone I was hoping they could sign!
I’m just happy the Bengals are finally putting their money where their mouths are.
I’m still upset they didn’t sign a linebacker
I’m on the fence, but I’m willing to wait and see how he fits in.