The Cincinnati Bengals took a very big risk this offseason. Rather than offering more guaranteed money to retain pass rusher Carl Lawson in free agency, they went out and gave former Saints pass-rusher Trey Hendrickson after a breakout season.
This move could have easily blown up in the front office’s face, but Hendrickson has really proven he has been worth the money. He recorded a sack in his seventh straight game — which is a franchise record — in the third quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers when he strip sacked Ben Roethlisberger.
Hendrickson now has 10.5 sacks on the season. That has him in the top 10 of the sack leaders for this season. He has also had plenty of other impactful rushes that haven’t ended in sacks. That includes one today that led to Roethlisberger throwing a pick-six to Mike Hilton before the half.
It seems like this is the beginning of something special for this defense, and Hendrickson has been a huge catalyst for this growth. Cincinnati has spent a ton of money in free agency the past couple of offseasons. Hendrickson has been the most noticeable due to his production, though. The Bengals already have more sacks than the entirety of the 2020 season. The impact of actually being able to get pressure on the opposing quarterback clearly has made quite the difference.
This team has gone from one of the worst to one of the best. Hendrickson not letting the quarterback sit back all day and pick apart the secondary has made a night and day difference.