The Cincinnati Bengals have done a pretty outstanding job filling most of their needs via free agency.
One position that has been a huge topic of discussion is the running back room. People have wondered if Cincinnati could still add a veteran via free agency to pair with or even replace Joe Mixon.
Head coach Zac Taylor updated us on a few topics revolving around running backs. Including not counting out a familiar name.
“[Trayveon Williams] just hasn’t had an opportunity because we had two really good running backs in front of him. We re-signed them for a reason. We’ve got high hopes for Trayveon,” Taylor told Geoff Hobson from Bengals.com. “He’s a guy I’ve really seen mature professionally. I just think he understands what it takes to play in this league. And he showed us that he’s ready to be able to compete for real opportunity, and Chris Evans as well … if we continue to add in free agency or the draft, then so be it.”
Williams was a sixth-round pick from Taylor’s inaugural 2019 draft. He is one of the few players the team has chosen to keep around from that class that was otherwise a huge miss outside of a few exceptions.
Williams has 55 career touches with 302 yards to show for it. That is a very efficient 5.5 yards per touch. Not exactly the biggest sample size, but it gives you an idea as to what he has been able to do so far.
The end of the quote has Taylor still very vague and seems open to the opportunity to bring in more running backs at some point still. One name that has been linked to Cincinnati is Ezekiel Elliott who was recently released by the Dallas Cowboys.
Taylor again leaves it completely open-ended. He isn’t willing to rule anything out at this point in the off-season. Hobson caught this exchange during media interviews with Cowboys beat reporter Clarence E. Hill Jr.
“There are a lot of great players that are always available. I think that we do our due diligence making sure we try to find the best fits for us and talk through every available prospect,” Hill followed with is that yes or no?
“That’s what I just said,” Taylor said.
Pretty much what you should expect to hear. It is certainly telling that the team isn’t outright saying no. It means that they are at least considering routes that could involve Elliott signing. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Mixon’s job is at stake considering the team lost Samaje Perine to the Denver Broncos in free agency. That role could be filled by Williams, Elliott, or a rookie.
The Bengals could stand to save some cap space by releasing Mixon, but at this point in free agency, there doesn’t seem to be a reason for them to rush and create that space. Especially if they still think Mixon is a productive running back. We will have to continue to monitor the situation, but it seems fans shouldn’t count out Williams from taking over the Perine role.