It is assumed that fans of the Cincinnati Bengals are already thinking about the offseason but probably also enjoying some playoff football.
Chase Young, DE, San Francisco
Remember the Chase Young vs. Joe Burrow debates? Good times.
Well, anyway, the former Ohio State Buckeye could end up on his third team in less than a calendar year if he doesn’t re-sign with the 49ers. While Young only has 16.5 sacks in four years, the ability is clearly there.
The Bengals, meanwhile, could definitely use help rushing the passer in 2024, and pairing Young with Trey Hendrickson could be quite the show.
While he may be out of Cincinnati’s price range, Young (appropriately enough) is still just 24 years old. And, we all know how the Bengals front office feels about getting value out of free agents.
AJ Dillon, RB, Green Bay
Regardless of where you stand in your Joe Mixon loyalty, the reality is that the veteran running back won’t be around forever.
Dillon is a massive running back at 247 pounds, and, though he’s only two years younger than Mixon, he has 974 fewer regular-season carries. Oh, and he’s a far better pass blocker.
Dillon’s fresh legs could give the Bengals a tremendous thunder-and-lightning duo with Chase Brown, who showed signs of emerging this year.
Rudy Ford, FS, Green Bay
Currently on IR, Ford won’t be on the field for this game. But he’s a quick safety who has taken a step forward the past two seasons, starting a career-high nine games for the Packers this year before his hamstring injury. He’d add some nice (and affordable) depth to the position and potentially allow Lou Anarumo more flexibility when facing speedy receivers.
Tashaun Gipson, FS, San Francisco
You might be noticing a theme here. The Bengals were missing a true free safety last year. So it wouldn’t hurt to add a veteran like Gipson, who has 33 career interceptions across 12 seasons playing for the Cleveland Browns, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Houston Texans, the Chicago Bears, and the 49ers.
Javon Kinlaw, DT, San Francisco
The 14th overall pick in the 2020 Draft, Kinlaw has failed to live up to expectations, though he did show signs of life this year, when he had a career-high 3.5 sacks and played in all 17 games, starting six of them. The Bengals might be looking to revive Kinlaw’s career at a bargain price. And with a defensive line that is growing razor-thin, it would be worth giving the former first-round pick a shot.