The Cincinnati Bengals are capping off a busy day with the signing of Larry Ogunjobi, who has been a standout defensive lineman with the Cleveland Browns. Per NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, Ogunjobi agreed to terms on a one-year deal with Cincinnati.
The #Bengals are signing former #Browns DL Larry Ogunjobi, source said, on a 1-year deal. More help on D for Cincy, as he stays in the division.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 18, 2021
Ogunjobi, a fifth-year player in 2021, was originally a third-round pick by the Browns in the 2017 NFL draft. He played college football at Charlotte, and his high-level production and athleticism testing is what made him a Day 2 pick.
In his four years with the Browns, Ogunjobi played in 60 games and started 47 of them. He registered 14.5 sacks, 108 solo tackles, and 29 tackles for loss in Cleveland, with 11 of those sacks coming from the 2018 and 2019 seasons alone.
While Ogunjobi—who will turn 27 later this year—was always capable of providing splash plays, he never became a consistent force for the Browns. In 2019, Cleveland signed Sheldon Richardson to play 3-technique and subsequently moved Ogunjobi to nose tackle. Richardson has shown to be the more consistent player over the last two years, which is likely why the Browns decidedly to let Ogunjobi test the market.
2020 was definitely a down-year for Ogunjobi, as he registered career-lows in PFF defense grade (51.4) and pass rush grade (56.2), but he’s still a young player with an athletic and productive background. This one-year deal gives Ogunjobi a chance to bounce back and hit the market next year when the salary cap is substantially higher.
Also, it should be worth noting that Ogunjobi trains with and is good friends with Geno Atkins, who is still on the Bengals roster as of now.
I don't know if it had any impact as his status with the Bengals seems up in the air there, but Larry Ogunjobi is extremely close with Geno Atkins.— Pete Smith (@_PeteSmith_) March 18, 2021
This signing may indicate that Atkins is sticking around for another year to play with a someone he’s close with. If not, then the Bengals are replacing their long-time 3-technique with a player whose upside was once very much like Atkins.
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