The Bengals really put in plenty of work this offseason restructuring their roster. They may be fielding a radically different defense from last season, but one area fans may not be excited about is the offensive line.
Cincinnati went out and signed Xavier Su’a-Filo to replace John Miller at right guard, but the rest of the interior offensive line is still relatively the same. One name that popped up in the news recently who the Bengals could be keeping an eye on is Kyle Long formerly of the Bears.
Long came out recently and said he has yet to officially retire, but he should know whether he will be playing in 2020 or not soon.
I didn’t retire I got fired. I will know with conviction whether I’m done for good or not in the next few weeks. Full transparency I miss football but at what cost I’m most likely gonna be on golf courses instead of gridiron’s https://t.co/qmNbTEeTHk— Kyle (@Ky1eLong) June 15, 2020
The Bengals really need more competition at their guard positions. Billy Price, Michael Jordan and Alex Redmond are the names we will see competing for the left guard position currently. None of them have put a solid campaign together as of yet. Jordan is only entering his second season, though.
That is where long could step in. He was once a Pro Bowl caliber player at guard, and he would be a great veteran presence. He also was a first round pick in 2013, so clearly the talent is there. However, Long has some major hurdles to cross in order to play in 2020.
Long turned 31 in December. He has missed 34 games over his past four seasons. Those are two huge deterrents for a team like the Bengals in the middle of a rebuild. There was a time where long was a very solid offensive lineman in the NFL, but those days may be behind him.
That also isn’t even factoring in the whole cloud of uncertainty that COVID-19 has cast over the 2020 season. By his own admission he seems to even be leaning towards retirement. Overall, that feels like a player who wants a shot at a title not one last ride with a team who just picked first overall.
At the end of the day, Cincinnati may rather spend 2020 figuring out what this team has in their younger offensive linemen rather than try and sign someone as injury prone as Long to fill a spot. That isn’t to say he couldn’t be a fantastic signing for another team, but it is just hard to imagine Long risking his long term health as well as playing in a pandemic to sign with the Bengals at this point in their rebuild.