The Cincinnati Bengals will have a few big-time decisions to make this offseason, and a couple of them will center around which of their upcoming free agents they want to bring back to the Queen City.
Jessie Bates, who has been franchise tagged, BJ Hill, and Larry Ogunjobi were all among the top 101 NFL free agents with the latter of the trio being dubbed the 98th-best upcoming free agent.
What exactly the going price for Ogunjobi, who the Bengals helped revitalize the career of, isn’t quite known. But, it appears he might sign a deal worth at least eight figures a year. That’s at least according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
“Top big men always seem to get bigger deals than expected, and these two should be no exception. Fatukasi (listed at 6-4, 318) became a full-time starter last season and had a career-high 46 tackles (25 solo). Ogunjobi (6-4, 305) signed a one-year deal with the Bengals, had 16 QB hits and emerged as a key piece in Cincinnati’s march to Super Bowl LVI. It wouldn’t be a surprise if both command upwards of $10 million a year,” Pelissero wrote.
Ogunjobi missed the Super Bowl and the last few playoffs games for Cincinnati, but it was clear what his value was prior to his season-ending injury. Ogunjobi was a starter for the bulk of the season, appearing in and starting 16 games.
In those, he ended with 49 tackles, seven sacks, and 16 quarterback hits. Ogunjobi and D.J. Reader created a force in the middle, helping Cincinnati turn a defensive weakness (their run game) into a strength.
Where Ogunjobi has interest from isn’t known, but if Pelissero is right, the Bengals might not be re-signing one of their key defenders as a No. 2 cornerback and talented offensive lineman see to be a more pressing issue.
Hopefully, one of Ogunjobi or Hill is brought back to help round out what should be an impressive front four next season.