clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Free agent defensive ends the Bengals could consider after rash of injuries

Help wanted?

Minnesota Vikings v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals are hurting at defensive end. With Week 14 taking out Trey Hendrickson with a broken wrist, Week 15 claimed another pass rusher, as Sam Hubbard expected to miss time with a calf injury.

With the top-two players at the position out for multiple weeks, the Bengals could look outside the building for help. While they like Joseph Ossai and Cam Sample, a pass rush rotation is important, and they may just need bodies at this point.

Here are some free agent options the Bengals could consider.

Devon Kennard: Kennard may be the most prepared to play immediate snaps out of available rushers. Having played for the Arizona Cardinals and Baltimore Ravens this season, Kennard should still be relatively close to in playing shape. He hasn’t registered a sack in seven games played this season, but could be depth to take a snap or two to get another player a breather.

Pernell McPhee: Another former Raven, McPhee has 38 career sacks on his record and is familiar with AFC North football. At 34 years old, McPhee could have a chance to join a contending team for a postseason run and shouldn’t demand much in terms of a contract for the final three games of the season. McPhee hasn’t played this season, so conditioning could be an issue if the team is looking for someone to take snaps immediately.

Everson Griffen: Perhaps the most accomplished player on this list, Griffen has registered 85.5 sacks in 11 seasons. Another 34-year-old free agent could have similar motivation to McPhee to join a team headed to the postseason. Griffen also hasn’t played a down this season, so the team would more than likely bring him in for a workout before any contract talks began. Depending on how he’s been working out while not on a team, a Griffen signing could be a late-season move that pays off in a big moment.

Terrell Lewis: Lewis has some potential at only 24 years old, with six sacks to his name through 30 career games played. With Ossai and co. expected to carry the weight of the pass rush, Lewis could be an addition who is just asked to be there in case of absolute emergency. The Los Angeles Rams thought enough of him to take him in the third round, so maybe there is some untapped potential with Lewis.

Benson Mayowa: Mayowa has shown flashes in his nine-year career, but has struggled with consistency. At 31 years old, Mayowa should still have a few solid years left in him, although the Bengals may just be looking for a handful of games. As we work through the list of available pass rushers, Mayowa is on the lower end.

Other notable names:

  • Noah Spence
  • Alex Okafor
  • Dee Ford
  • Kyler Fackrell
  • Nate Orchard
  • Cassius Marsh

To be honest, you very well might see the Bengals stick with players who are already in the building. Practice squad elevations and increased roles for players lower on the depth chart are more likely than not. Most of the above-mentioned guys have been out of football long enough that it would probably take several weeks to get them up to speed.

With that said, there are a few decent options if the Bengals decide to seek help outside of their locker room.

Do you think Cincinnati should sign any of these players? Let us know in the comments!