Imagine spending 33 seasons away from a place many fans dream to see their favorite team play in, and only to lose in a heartbreaker. Well, that is where the Bengals find themselves. They were on the doorstep of franchise history, but couldn’t seal the deal.
From 1989 to 2020, the Bengals finished in last place 13 times, and they only had eight playoff appearances. They were finally back in the playoffs and made a run to the Super Bowl.
Unfortunately for them, they didn’t win, and now they have to do something that has only been accomplished 16 times in 88 postseasons in NFL history (18.2%): make it back to the championship game after losing.
According to Over the Cap, the Bengals have $30,546,322 in effective cap space (the cap space a team will have after signing at least 51 players and its projected rookie class to its roster). So, who should they target in free agency to make that happen? Well, there are two words that are key to the Bengals offseason: offensive line — most particularly the right side.
There are two players that the Bengals should target on the offensive line.
Brandon Scherff, G, Washington Commanders
Scherff has proven to be one of the best guards in the NFL, when healthy. That’s the problem, though. He hasn’t been. That being said, the Bengals can sign Scherff and draft a player at right guard as insurance.
Scherff is athletic, and he’s a perfect fit for what the Bengals do best. He’s not much of a gap lineman, but the Bengals run a zone scheme. So, he’d be a perfect fit.
Morgan Moses, T, New York Jets
When Mekhi Becton went down, Moses had to step in at right tackle for the Jets when George Fant moved back to his most comfortable position, left tackle. Moses did a more than capable job of taking the reigns. He’s more than capable of fitting into the Bengals zone scheme, as he did so for the Jets, and he’ll be looking for a place where he can become a starter.
C.J. Uzomah, TE, Cincinnati Bengals
This would be bringing a player back into the fold, but it’s necessary. Uzomah gives them a reliable target in the middle of the field, even though he’s limited as a blocker. Keeping the continuity in the passing game will be key for the offense to continue to flourish and make the rare return trip to a world championship game.
Austin Corbett, G, Los Angeles Rams
Like Scherff, he’s a perfect fit in this offense, and it may have been just not fitting with Cleveland. He’s not going to be an elite guard, and he still has flaws, but he will get the job done and is a solid upgrade for the Bengals.