When the Cincinnati Bengals’ 2023 offseason began, it didn’t get off to the greatest of starts.
While the team was quick to re-sign linebacker Germaine Pratt, they also watched key veterans Jessie Bates, Vonn Bell, Hayden Hurst, and Samaje Perine leave town.
However, the Bengals bounced back in a major way by signing stud left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. away from Kansas City. That alone made this a successful offseason for Cincinnati, who has consistently had one of the NFL’s worst offensive lines since 2017. It gave them a clear upgrade at left tackle, while also moving Jonah Williams to right tackle, effectively upgrading two spots with one signing.
The Bengals then added more key veterans in safety Nick Scott and tight end Irv Smith Jr., while their 2023 NFL Draft class was widely praised as a great haul overall.
CBS analyst Garrett Podell just did a ranking of the top 16 offseasons of any NFL team. The Bengals ranked seventh overall and third among AFC teams, trailing only the Miami Dolphins (1) and Buffalo Bills (6).
Here is what Podell had to say about Cincinnati’s big offseason.
The Cincinnati Bengals smartly executed an offseason in which they once again beefed up their offensive line while also adding young, defensive depth in a team-friendly way, via the 2023 NFL Draft. They quickly pounced on Kansas City Chiefs four-time Pro Bowl left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. hitting the open market by converting him to the other side of the NFL’s current top rivalry on a four-year, $64 million contract. That salary is the 10th-highest among NFL left tackles, a relative bargain at one of their biggest positions of need. Cincy’s offensive line ranked 29th in Pro Football Focus’ pass-blocking grade during their AFC Championship season in 2021, and the unit ranked 31st in the entire league in 2022.