While the La’el Collins saga figures to go into early next week, the Cincinnati Bengals are also pursuing another notable free agent.
Per NFL insider Evan Massey, the Bengals are “in play” for cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
The #Raiders are still considered the favorites to sign cornerback Stephon Gilmore, per source, and have a strong offer on the table. But, there are still other teams in play, including the #Bengals. A decision should come soon.— Evan Massey (@massey_evan) March 19, 2022
While Massey lists the Las Vegas Raiders as the favorites to land Gilmore, the Bengals being involved is certainly noteworthy.
Gilmore, an 11th-year player, was a first-round pick of the Buffalo Bills all the way back in 2012. After five years and a Pro Bowl appearance in Buffalo, Gilmore elevated his game for the next four seasons with the New England Patriots, making three Pro Bowls, two 1st-Team All-Pro lists, and was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2019. He missed five games in 2020 due to injury and missed the first six games of the 2021 season as well.
Before New England was going to release him during the season, the Carolina Panthers traded a 2023 sixth-round pick for him. Gilmore played in eight games for Carolina, but only started in three of them.
Though he was a dominant player not so long ago, Gilmore’s best days are behind him. That doesn’t mean the Bengals couldn’t still use him. They recently inked Eli Apple to another one-year deal, but they’re clearly looking for another option to start alongside Chidobe Awuzie and Mike Hilton.
Cincinnati’s interest in Gilmore indicates they’re not done in the cornerback market. We’ll see if things materialize with the former All-Pro.