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Bengals reportedly have strong interest in RB Jamaal Williams

The Bengals could be eyeing a replacement for Joe Mixon.

Cincinnati Bengals v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals may not make as big of a splash as they have the past few off-seasons, but they should still be players in free agency on a smaller scale.

A move many are anticipating is the Bengals to release running back Joe Mixon to save roughly $10 million in cap space. A move like that probably doesn’t come until a replacement has been secured.

One name that is in the running appears to be Detroit Lions free agent running back Jamaal Williams

The important thing to note is obviously the mutual interest between the Lions and Williams. Ultimately it may be hard to pry him away considering he is coming off his first 1,000-yard rushing season with 17 touchdowns on the season. The Lions do have D’Andre Swift waiting in the wings after they invested some serious draft capital into him.

Williams has the exact personality and character Cincinnati is looking for. He showed off the past two years in Detroit how much personality he has, and what a great locker room presence he can be.

We are now also off seeing him carry the load of the rushing duties for the first time in his six-year career, which means the treads aren’t as worn as someone who had been a bell cow for a team that same amount of time.

It is doubtful the Bengals would make Williams the sole running back or even the primary back in their offense. He likely wouldn’t fill the same role as Mixon, who seemed to be the clear RB1 for most of his time with the Bengals. They likely would also spend a mid-to-late-round draft selection on a running back and create an even split.

In an ideal world, the Bengals would be able to have Williams and Samaje Perine (also set to be a free agent) under contract for the same price or less than what Mixon is.

It would be pretty surprising to see Williams not return to Detroit, but if he takes a look around at potential suitors, Cincinnati could provide a more secure location for him to continue to start.