The Cincinnati Bengals knew the assignment, and they’ve completed it.
Cincinnati had a thrilling day in free agency, landing former Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Alex Cappa and former New England Patriots center Ted Karras, then re-signing defensive tackle B.J. Hill. This news comes after losing out on defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi, who signed with the Chicago Bears.
Thankfully, the team did retain Hill, so their front four on that side of the ball should stay dominant in the coming season. What will be a much-improved unit is their offensive line, a group everyone had their eyes on this offseason.
The Bengals signed two key veterans, and those additions will be huge in the coming season.
That also likely means the eventual release of center Trey Hopkins who has been a consistent force for Cincinnati the last few seasons. Hopkins was a serviceable option at center, but it’ll likely be Karras who takes over now.
Here are a few takes from Twitter on the Bengals' big-time moves.
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) March 14, 2022
Both Alex Kappa and Ted Karras are no-nonsense, tough as nails, and rock solid as pass protectors.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 14, 2022
There's no doubt that Cincy has taken a major step forward in correct their pass protection in a major way so far today.
Ted Karras will be 29 years old. He's experienced at all three IOL spots with most snaps coming at C.— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) March 14, 2022
We had him as a Tier 3 free agent.
Very efficient blocker. Said to be extremely intelligent.
Karras’s uncle was definitely a glass eater pic.twitter.com/2lfRLdixlQ— Matt Minich (@CoachMinich) March 14, 2022
LOVE the Bengals' approach to free agency thus far — Alex Cappa and Ted Karras immediately raise the floor of their offense.— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) March 14, 2022
Williams— Andrew Russell (@PFF_AndrewR) March 14, 2022
ONE MORE BIG TIME MOVE pic.twitter.com/Dypqvw0OvN
Jonah— Matt Minich (@CoachMinich) March 14, 2022
Or if you want to get crazy
Limited details on the Bengals deals for Cappa, Karras and Hill but given past contract structures, here are the 2022-2024 cap hits I'd expect:— John Baines (@johnthebaines) March 14, 2022
Cappa $8.25M, $10.25M, $10.75M
Karras $5M, $5.5M, $7.5M
Hill $8.25M, $9.25M, $12.5M
Trae Waynes' release will save $10.9M in cap
We have to keep in mind that Cappa and Karras will help make our young OLinemen that much better. Greatness rubs off on those around it. WHO DEY!!!— Joebi-Wan (@DavidGabbard12) March 14, 2022
lol the Bengals paid Cappa how much?— Daveboy (@Daveboy924) March 14, 2022
Better write a thank you letter to Brady. Bengals are about to see what I mean by having my reservations on how much value the o-line outside of Wirfs truly has without Brady.
Yep. You usually don't have players of your own to extend, so you go buy others.— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) March 14, 2022
Bengals turned their 2018 draft class into a bigger strength with the additions of Cappa and BJ Hill to go with Bates & Hubbard.#ExtendBates https://t.co/MUt8gWxqDa
Well, Cappa and Karras definitely weren't the guys I expected the Bengals to sign today, but... pic.twitter.com/Re666iUYVO— Opticblast81 (@opticblast81) March 14, 2022
New Bengals OL Alex Cappa’s last Instagram post was with a Lombardi. Here’s to adding another soon. pic.twitter.com/Q6Znz9K3bY— Lindsay Patterson (@LndsPatterson) March 14, 2022
BJ Hill is staying with the Bengals. pic.twitter.com/SQ0C4QRHte— theScore (@theScore) March 14, 2022
BJ Hill INT against the Chiefs was an all time play had to bring him back https://t.co/vtRgJUMxM4— Harlan (@HarlanJB34) March 14, 2022
AFC Champions having an A+ free agency so far, doing deals their way, too.— Chris Roling (@Chris_Roling) March 14, 2022
In my opinion, the best reaction was from Pro Football Focus’ Austin Gayle. Raising the floor, especially after Burrow was sacked 16 times across two of the team’s playoff games, is exactly what these moves have done for Cincinnati.
The Bengals still have a few more moves to make and should have the cap space to make things happen.
Did we miss a tweet you thought should be in this most? Let us know in the comments section!