Awuzie, who is far and away the best corner the Bengals have, was playing at an extremely high level this season, making this just the latest in crushing injury blows to hit Cincinnati.
With Eli Apple dealing with a hamstring injury, Cam Taylor-Britt struggling in his first start and Tre Flowers no providing much in his action, the Bengals may be smart to look at available cornerbacks. They are not expected to be major players ahead of the trade deadline, so let’s take a look at some available free agent options:
Malcolm Butler: Butler isn’t the type of corner that will “wow” you, he brings experience and has a history of stepping up in big moments. The former Super Bowl hero is on the open market, likely would come cheap and has 18 career interceptions under his belt. While things look bleak at the moment, the Bengals are still in contention for a playoff spot, so Butler could see value there.
Ross Cockrell: As a career journeyman, Cockrell at least has experience playing in multiple different schemes. Playing for five teams in seven seasons isn’t exactly a model for consistency, but Cockrell would fit perfectly into the Bengals’ price range. If nothing else, he’s a capable body if further injuries pop up.
Janoris Jenkins: Also known as “Jackrabbit,” Jenkins was once in the higher tier of starting corners in the league. That seems to be short-lived, but there may be some gas left in the tank. At 34 years old, Jenkins wouldn’t demand a big salary and just be looking for the chance to make one more playoff run. Jenkins also played corner for Lou Anarumo in 2018 when he was the New York Giants’ defensive backs coach. Familiarity in Cincinnati can go a long way.
Richard Sherman: Alright, this one isn’t happening. Sherman isn’t giving up his cushy analyst gig on Amazon to suit up in the NFL again, but the clips of his comments to the media are kind of fun to think about.
Other Notables: Bashaud Breeland, Robert Alford, A.J. Bouye, Duke Shelley, Tavon Young, T.J. Green, Vernon Hargreaves, Cre’von LeBlanc, Pierre Desir, Torry McTyer.
Who do you think the Bengals should consider? Let us know in the comments section!