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Who should be the Bengals’ top target in free agency?

Cincinnati is on the cusp of a championship. What’s the move that puts them over the top?

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens Mitchell Layton-USA TODAY Sports

As smarter minds have said, free agency is where you address your immediate needs, and the Draft is best approached as an opportunity to add the best players available.

That is especially the case for the Cincinnati Bengals, who have lost to the Super Bowl champions in the postseason by three points two years in a row. They are clearly in win-now mode.

At the same time, they have to make sure they have enough cap space (and money) to reset the QB market with a Joe Burrow extension plus leave room for Tee Higgins.

Having said that and also acknowledging the Browns’ and Blackburns’ history of playing it safe, let’s explore some options.

Right Tackle

We know the team badly needs to solidify the right side of the line, though it wouldn’t be uncharacteristic for the front office to hope for a best case scenario with La’el Collins and choose to do nothing. Names thrown around include Jawaan Taylor of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Mike McGlinchey of the San Francisco 49ers.

Interior Pass Rusher

B.J. Hill (three regular season sacks, one sack in the postseason) played admirably last season and D.J. Reader is amazing at taking up space, but a true pass rush specialist would prevent the likes of Patrick Mahomes from getting comfortable in the biggest moments.

Fletcher Cox of the Philadelphia Eagles would be a nice addition, though he’s probably out of Cincinnati’s price range. David Onyemata of the New Orleans Saints might be a more reasonable option.


Even if Eli Apple stays on a reasonable contract, he is more of a third or fourth cornerback than a guy you want covering the top boundary receivers. If the Bengals really want to be aggressive, they could sign a guy like the Baltimore RavensMarcus Peters. Another (somewhat strange) outcome would be for the Bengals to land Jalen Ramsey in a trade.

Okay, now your turn. Share what you think the Bengals should (and could) do in the comments below.