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Is Larry Warford a realistic target for Bengals (or anyone)?

The talented guard has been on the minds of Bengals fans all offseason. But it’s not even clear if Warford is interested in returning to the NFL.

New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

Larry Warford maybe the safest option for the Cincinnati Bengals to significantly improve the play of their guards.

And yet, we haven’t heard anything about them scheduling a visit or showing any interest at all.

In fact, we haven’t heard about any team trying to sign him.

So what’s going on?

First let’s look at the fact. He opted out of last season despite having a very solid career before then. Here are his PFF grades since being drafted in the third round of the 2013 Draft:

  • 2019 - 75.8 overall, 71.4 pass blocking, 76.6 run blocking
  • 2018 - 67.8 overall, 76.8 pass, 60.2 run
  • 2017 - 74.0 overall, 80.7 pass, 68.5 run
  • 2016 - 80.3 overall, 74.6 pass, 80.7 run
  • 2015 - 71.7 overall, 73.4 pass, 66.8 run
  • 2014 - 72.8 overall, 83.3 pass, 62.3 run
  • 2013 - 84.9 overall, 86.6 pass, 79.7 run

In short, his worst overall year (2018) wasn’t really that bad (67.8). In fact, it would’ve been the best mark of all the Bengals’ guards last year. Alex Redmond came the closest with a 61.5 overall grade.

In other words, Warford, still only 29-years-old, would be a big addition in terms of giving quarterback Joe Burrow the kind of confidence he provided for future-Hall-of-Famer Drew Brees in New Orleans.

But, as John Sheeran points out in the video below, we don’t know if there is mutual interest or if Warford even intends on returning to the NFL.

You can also listen on iTunes or using the player below:

Sheeran said the following:

“A lot of talk has been going on about Larry Warford. We don’t even know if he wants to play football anymore. We have heard nothing about him this entire free agency period. Obviously he opted out of last year due to COVID-19 and they had some interest - I believe - in signing him. But we don’t have any idea what is out there for Larry Warford right now. So I think until we hear anything in regard to him, we can kinda just table him off to the side.”

Hopefully something will emerge from Warford’s camp soon, though it still remains to be seen if the Bengals are interested in bringing in more help for the o-line via free agency.