The Bengals have a history of being very quiet during free agency. However, they’ve been somewhat active this year. Who have they signed?
Compared to other years, the Bengals have been decently active in free agency. Today, we’re going to look at all of the moves they have made so far, and see how it will impact them for next year.
The Bengals have re-signed CJ Uzomah a 3 year deal worth up to $18 million. Uzomah stepped in as the starting tight end after both Tyler Eifert and Tyler Kroft got hurt last season. With Eifert’s injury history, Uzomah will likely take the majority of the snaps for the Bengals tight ends next year. He’s vertical threat type tight end. He can also be used in screens. Uzomah was a bright spot on the Bengals struggling offense last year, and he is still developing. We may see Uzomah hit his potential next year.
In free agency, you see a lot of bad contracts. It’a normal for teams to overpay for free agents. That’s just how the NFL works- you pay big money for the big players. What you don’t do, is overpay bad players unnecessarily. The Bengals did exactly that by re-signing Bobby Hart. The Bengals re-signed Bobby Hart to a 3 year deal, worth up to $21 million. He will earn a total of $16.5 million from the cap, and could possibly earn another $4.5 million through incentives and other bonuses. This may the worst contract in free agency. Hart was one of the worst right tackles in the NFL last year. He gave up 10 sacks, and 39 pressures along with that. This contract just makes no sense. Somebody in the Bengals front office completely misvalue Bobby Hart. Ty Nsekhe in Buffalo signed a 2-year deal that is worth up to $14.5 million. He’s a reliable offensive tackle, unlike Bobby Hart. He’s annually making $250,000 more than him a year. Billy Turner got a deal with the Packers that is worth up to $29.5 million over 4 years. He isn’t special, but he’s much better than Hart. However, Turner is barely making more annually than Hart. The Bengals overpayed for Bobby Hart very badly. They are hoping he will break out next year, but in the 4 years he has been playing, he really hasn’t shined or show promise. This is a horrible contract for the Bengals, and they failed to improve their offensive line. May Andy Dalton Rest In Peace.
Bengals gave Preston Brown a deal very similar to Bobby Hart’s. 3 years worth up to $21 million. Evaluating Browns play last year is difficult. The Bengals had arguably the worst linebacking core last year, and Preston Browns play was a reason for that. With that being said, Preston Brown was hurt the whole year. He injured his ankle week 1, missed a month, played 5 games while his ankle was still hurt, and then hurt his knee to end up on the IR. It’s hard to judge a linebacker playing on 1 ankle. This isn’t a good contract, but it can be an acceptable one if the Bengals fix the linebacking core correctly. Based off of his Buffalo career, Brown is a very good base MIKE linebacker. He’s good vs the run, and getting off of blocks. However, when it comes to coverage, he’s not very good. This contract guarantees that he’ll be starting in the base defense, and likely their MIKE in the nickel. The Bengals likely playing him in the nickel is what makes this contract not good. However, if the Bengals draft a raw linebacker in round 3 to rotate in with Preston, such as Germaine Pratt, than this contract isn’t bad. This contract does let the Bengals draft a raw guy and smooth him into the role. If the Bengals do that, then this contract helps them in the future, and it helps shape up the rookie under a great mentor. However, if the Bengals completely ignore trying to draft a linebacker early because of Preston, then the Bengals made a massive mistake.
The Bengals signed guard John Miller to a 3-year deal worth up to $16.5 million. Miller was previously with the Bills. Miller will be a much needed upgrade at the right guard spot for the Bengals. Miller is a good pass blocker, but does have a tendency to hold. However, Alex Redmond(starting right guard last year for the Bengals) lead the league in penalties last years, so Miller still does provide an upgrade in that area. Miller is a good power run blocker, and that could benefit Mixon. This was a very solid signing by the Bengals.
The Bengals are giving the talented, but yet injury prone tight end another shot. Eifert’s season was once again cut short after a gruesome injury. When he’s on the field, Eifert is one of the best tight ends. However, Eifert just can’t stay on the field. The Bengals gave Eifert a 1-year deal, and most likely a very incentive based deal. If Eifert plays, he gets paid. It’s a win-win signing for the Bengals.
It happened, the Bengals finally cut Vontaze Burfict. This was a move that needed to happen. For years, the Bengals have tolerated Burfict’s dirtiness because of how talented he was. Burfict’s play has seemly fallen off, and with the baggage he brings, he’s not worth it. This was a great move by the Bengals.