The Cincinnati Bengals have a few holes to fix on the offensive line, which means they need to attack in free agency and not just depend on the NFL Draft, says Joe Goodberry, who joined us to discuss the team’s offseason plans.
One guy who could fill a huge hole is Jacksonville Jaguars tackle Cam Robinson. Goodberry knows that the Bengals’ decisions in free agency have been curious to say the least. That is why he thinks it’s realistic for them to go for a second-tier free agent instead of the top offensive linemen available.
Goodberry sees Robinson, who hasn’t lived up to his potential as a second round pick in 2017, as a player who could be signed for about $9 million a year. This would allow the Bengals’ front office to say they’ve spent money on the line, but, according to Goodberry, it wouldn’t necessarily mean the line is upgraded significantly.
Last offseason took us by surprise, as the Bengals spent big on D.J. Reader and Trae Waynes. But, as Goodberry points out, they paid more for Waynes than was anticipated and Reader, though a great signing, is a nose tackle who does not help the o-line.
“It’s not just a monetary thing,” Goodberry said. “It’s ‘are they going in the correct direction?’” He said they should recognize that, if they don’t spend $13 million annually on guys like Joe Thuney or Brandon Scherff, they should know that the good teams of the NFL are willing to do so. It might cost $25 or $30 million in guaranteed money, he said, “but you have to bite the bullet and do it if you’re protecting your franchise quarterback.”
John Sheeran noted that Robinson played with Jonah Williams at Alabama, and that that was the one year Williams played right tackle. That could be the situation again if the Bengals land Robinson in free agency.
My takeaway is that, last year, the Bengals paid top dollar only for guys who play positions they value. Think about it. When they’ve spent big to retain their own players, it’s been guys like Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, and Dre Kirkpatrick, not guys like Kevin Zeitler and Andrew Whitworth. They think defensive linemen and corners deserve to get paid, but they are hesitant to reward offensive linemen. The only difference last year was that instead of re-signing their own defensive tackles or corners, the Bengals snatched players from other teams. This year, if the Bengals do sign one more offensive linemen, it’s unlikely they’ll present offers that intrigue the very best players on the market.
You can watch Goodberry’s analysis below:
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