Marvin Lewis, at one point, was among the longest-tenured head coaches in the NFL. Despite having many mediocre and a few above-average seasons, Lewis will still go down as a legend for the Cincinnati Bengals, leading the team for a decade and a half.
One of his key coordinators and someone who appears to be a good friend of his, Mike Zimmer, discussed with Lewis via The 33rd Team what their former employer could do to win this upcoming offseason.
While it is a plan that has been detailed by many, it is one that’s not going to be easy to execute. The first bullet point is about protecting Joe Burrow, and that was atop the agenda last offseason as well.
There are a few spots locked in — namely those for Alex Cappa and Ted Karras. Everyone else — including Jonah William and La’el Collins — could be up for grabs. Cordell Volson will certainly have to earn his as well as battle off former second-round pick Jackson Carman.
The second bullet point focuses on manipulating the salary cap to shore up potential star free agents. Tee Higgins seems like the name to keep an eye on as one that will command a solid raise when he hits the open market.
Cutting Joe Mixon or riding themselves of other long-term obligations could be a way the Bengals seek to do just that. The potential resolutions are there, but it will be up to management to make those happen.
Thirdly, Lewis and Zimmer dove into adding pass-rush talent, and that will likely be a combination of free agents and rookies. The team is in a position where they can take the best available player in the both the first two rounds, and that could easily be an EDGE.
It’s a solid three-step plan, and it’s one the Bengals should at least look to fulfill two parts of. With the offseason starting to heat up in the next few weeks, it’ll be interesting just how Cincinnati plans to keep the Bengals in title contention.