The Cincinnati Bengals have made a flurry of moves this offseason that has led the Ringer’s Steven Ruiz to name the team one of the NFL offseason’s biggest winners so far as the NFL Draft approaches.
Cincinnati has won the AFC North each of the last two seasons, appeared in each of the last two AFC Championship Game’s and reached Super Bowl 56 just two seasons ago, losing to the Los Angeles Rams 23-20.
As the team looks to get back to the Super Bowl the team has made several signings, including inking star offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr to a four-year deal and stealing him away from the Kansas City Chiefs in the process.
The Bengals have also added former Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr, resigned starting linebacker Germaine Pratt and added former Rams defensive back Nick Scott on a three-year deal.
“Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo didn’t leave for a head-coaching gig, and Higgins is still on the roster. That’s enough for this to be considered a successful offseason for Cincinnati. But the Bengals did more than just keep their core together. The Brown signing was questionable at first glance, but the four-year, $64.1 million deal is really just a two-year, $42 million commitment,” Ruiz wrote. “That’s not a bad price for a good offensive tackle. Brown has had his problems in pass protection—especially against athletic edge rushers—but he’s more than serviceable, and his run-blocking makes up for other deficiencies. Irv Smith Jr. was a cheap replacement for Hurst and should provide a higher ceiling given his age and athleticism.”
The Bengals did lose starting safeties Jessie Bates (Falcons) and Vonn Bell (Panthers) in free agency, but the subtractions were not enough to drop the team from Ruiz’s list.
Ruiz’s six biggest offseason winners so far are the:
- The Detroit Lions vs. Slot Receivers in Man Coverage
- Miami Dolphins
- Atlanta Falcons
- Chicago Bears
- Carolina Panthers