The Cincinnati Bengals roster is arguably in a better position than it was for either of the last two seasons, but that does not mean there aren’t still possible areas of improvement.
The Bengals are always trying to get better, and a great way to do that can be by adding players that other teams had to let loose on cutdown day. Other teams may have cut them, but that does not mean they couldn’t join the Bengals and make a positive impact.
With that, let’s take a look at some of the best available options for the Bengals to add.
QB Nathan Rourke
The backup quarterback battle was supposed to result in a clear winner for the Bengals, but in the end, both players ended up underwhelming in camp and preseason. Trevor Siemian played the worse of the two, so for now, the job goes to Jake Browning.
However, with not great performances and several options available on the market, the story may not be over yet. Starting with Nathan Rourke, who is listed first as a player that the Bengals worked out and may have attempted to sign before he ended up signing with the Jaguars. So the Bengals are familiar with him and seem to like him, which sets up a possible ruin after the Jags waived him in favor of the veteran C.J. Beathard.
QB Will Grier
Another young quarterback, all the same reasons why the Bengals are looking at quarterback fits here. Grier’s days in Dallas were numbered as soon as the team traded for Trey Lance. They gave him the final preseason game all to himself, and he did phenomenal with an 83% completion percentage, 305 yards, and 2 touchdowns with no interceptions. He still has room to grow as a passer, but he offers a solid arm and potential to continue developing.
OL Michael Dunn
One of the Bengals’ top needs is offensive line depth, just like the rest of the league, and Dunn has been solid when asked to play for Cleveland. He hasn’t had to do so much in the regular season, but well enough that many familiar with the Browns team were surprised that he was waived as he seemed like the top interior backup.
Adding insult to injury, the Browns waived him on his birthday, so the Bengals can give him a nice birthday present by telling him he doesn’t have to move very far.
LB Jabril Cox
The former fourth-round pick was waived by the Cowboys, and while linebacker doesn’t seem like an obvious need for the Bengals, their three backups in Akeem Davis Gaither, Markus Bailey, and Joe Bachie, are all only under contract through this year. Adding someone like Cox now could help them when filling out the roster for 2024.
It also works out as Cox is seemingly still struggling from a rough ACL injury in 2021, and more recovery time could get him closer to his LSU form.
LB Brandon Smith
Another athletic freak, Smith was overdrafted by the Panthers in the 2022 draft and let go before he had any time to develop. A solid special teamer last year, he could fit into that role right away in Cincinnati while developing as a linebacker. It is unlikely that he ever comes close to living up to his athleticism, but he can still bring value as a special teamer and can help soften the loss of some of the Bengals' backup linebackers in 2024.
RB Zonovan Knight
The Bengals may not seem like they need a RB with Joe Mixon and three solid backups, but they still don’t have an answer in the pass-blocking department. It would not be surprising if they looked to the waiver wire to potentially make an add at the position, and there is no better option available than Zonovan “Bam” Knight.
It wasn’t a huge sample, but on 18 pass block snaps in 2022, he allowed zero pressures on the QB. He also is a solid running back and pass catcher offering true versatility to any formation he is in.
What other players would you like to see the Bengals pursue? Let us know in the comments section!