The Cincinnati Bengals almost made the playoffs in 2023, and that was with a healthy Joe Burrow for only three or four games the whole year.
With a healthy Burrow alone, the Bengals could easily make the playoffs with no other major additions. That doesn’t mean the team shouldn’t consider it as they continue trying to get a Super Bowl win. Adding free agents helped push their last Super Bowl appearance, and a couple of key pieces this offseason could help the team make it again.
With that, let’s take a look at some of the top possible additions they could make from the Lions and the Buccaneers playoff matchup.
Bucs S Antoine Winfield
The odds that the Bucs let Winfield test the market or that the Bengals sign him if they do are both low. However, he has to be mentioned in something like this as he could be one of the biggest impact players available on the market if he is available. An extremely talented coverage safety, it would be sad to sign Winfield after letting Jessie Bates walk, but it would also be admitting that that was a mistake and offer this defense so much versatility with its three talented safeties.
Lions G Graham Glasgow
On the opposite end of the spectrum is an inexpensive option on the interior of the offensive line. Glasgow has never been a phenomenal player, but he gets the jobs done and should not be particularly expensive. If the Bengals want to bring in some competition and depth along the interior of the offensive line, they could do a lot worse than Glasgow.
Lions S C.J. Gardner-Johnson
An up-and-down player that is unlikely for the Bengals to sign, Gardner-Johnson has consistently been a headline-getter, and with the team letting the last player like that walk in Eli Apple, it seems unlikely they would pursue someone else similar in free agency. He is a good player, though, and a versatile, talented safety who is able to play single-high, in the box, or in the slot in coverage or blitzing.
He is the exact kind of Swiss army knife that Lou Anarumo would be able to deploy just right, and he could have a career year with the Bengals if they wanted to give him a chance. With an injury-plagued 2023, it is not clear how much he will cost in free agency, but if he signs with the Bengals, it would likely be on a one-year prove-it type deal.