Cincinnati Bengals free agency grade

Notable additions:

Kevin Minter – Inside Linebacker – From: Arizona Cardinals

Andre Smith – Right Tackle – From: Minnesota Vikings

Notable subtractions:

Kevin Zeitler – Guard – To: Cleveland Browns

Andrew Whitworth – Left Tackle – To: Los Angeles Rams

Domata Peko – Defensive Tackle – To: Denver Broncos

Margus Hunt – Defensive End – To: Indianapolis Colts

Rex Burkhead – Running Back – To: New England Patriots

 

Analysis:

The Cincinnati Bengals once again didn’t do much in free agency and they ended up losing a few key players as well. The most notable loss for the Bengals was guard Kevin Zeitler who signed a big 5-year/$60 million contract with the in-state rival Cleveland Browns. Zeitler has been one of the best guards in the NFL and the Bengals didn’t address the position at all in free agency. Cincinnati will probably draft a guard early in the draft next month, but finding a quality guard like Zeitler will be extremely difficult to accomplish. The Bengals also lost another longtime offensive lineman as left tackle Andrew Whitworth left for the Rams. However, the Bengals were just planning on letting him go anyway since the team drafted Jake Fisher a couple of years ago in order to replace Whitworth. The team also lost longtime starting defensive tackle Domata Peko in free agency, but they already had Pat Sims at defensive tackle to fill his void. Cincinnati is coming off of a disappointing 2016 season and now they didn’t even do much to improve their team as they only made two signings. The Bengals signed Kevin Minter to a 1-year deal and he is expected to replace Rey Maualuga at the inside linebacker position. I like the signing of Minter because he is only 26 years old and he is also much more durable than Maualuga who has struggled to stay healthy in his career. Minter might only be with the Bengals for one season, but he is an upgrade at the inside linebacker position. I also really like the Bengals signing of right tackle Andre Smith who was actually a former 1st round pick of the team not too long ago. Smith never turned out to be a very good starting right tackle, but he provides some much needed quality depth for the team behind Cedric Ogbuehi at right tackle. Overall, the Bengals should have made some more big moves to try and improve their team from a poor 2016 season and they ended up just getting worse especially after the departure of Kevin Zeitler.

Grade: C-

kevin minter

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