Fixing the Cincinnati Bengals

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This has been a nightmare season for the Cincinnati Bengals. It seems like the Miami Dolphins front office tried to tank, but the Bengals did not try for a winless season 10 games in. That makes this season so much worse, and puts them in a terrible spot, regardless of owning the number one pick or not.

But don’t worry Bengals fans, I’m here to help by showing you what the future could look like. I’ll go over the whole offseason plan, including the GM and head coach positions, a free agency plan, and a special kind of mock draft.

Next up: the Washington Redskins. But for now, let’s start fixing the Cincinnati Bengals.

GM and Head Coach:

Bengals’ Director of Pro Personnel Duke Tobin is essentially the GM and Zac Taylor is in his first season as Head Coach of the Bengals after beng the QB Coach of the Rams last season. I do not believe in hiring a GM and head coach at different times and the Bengals brought in Taylor to be a QB guru and offensive genius. They knew it would take more than a season and probably a different QB to make that happen, so I’m keeping both Tobin and Taylor.


The Bengals currently have $62.7 million in cap space, but a few key cuts can push things wide open for this team this offseason.

QB Andy Dalton:

Dalton is owed $17.7 million next season and cutting him does not result in a cap hit. The Bengals benched Dalton earlier this season, making this a very easy decision.

OT Cordy Glenn:

Glenn is owed $9.7 million in 2020, also does not have a cap hit if cut, and he’s been injured most of the season.


WR A.J. Green:

The Bengals decided not to trade Green at the deadline even though they have yet to win a game and Green has yet to play due to an injury. If the Bengals don’t resign him, they will lose him for nothing. Green is still one of the best receivers in the league and he will greatly help their new young rookie QB.

CB Darqueze Dennard:

This secondary hasn’t been good this year, but Dennard is a bright spot. He’s still only 28 years old and won’t demand very high of a salary.

C Trey Hopkins:

Hopkins beat out second-year player Billy Price in preseason and he’s been the Bengals’ best offensive lineman this year. Same age as Dennard, he won’t demand a high salary.

DL Andrew Billings:

Billings is coming off of his rookie contract and he’s been a nice rotational piece on this defensive line. He hasn’t lived up to expectations, but he’s done enough to warrant a second contract here.

S Brandon Wilson:

Wilson has been a great value for the Bengals not only in their secondary but on special teams as well. He’s provided some short fields for the offense thanks to his return abilities.

DL Josh Tupou:

Tupou is simliar to Billings in almost every way except he wasn’t drafted highly with bigger expectations. Another solid piece for this defensive line.

S Clayton Fejedelem:

Fejedelem is a good spot starter in the Bengals’ secondary. He sealed the game against the Colts in the first game of the season with a pick 6 and has been a great contributor throughout the year.

Free Agency Signings:

Cincinnati is not a premiere destination in the NFL, so their free agency plan has to be realistic in who they can get. Therefore, I’ve split things into three tiers. The first tier is a list of the top talents available this offseason but likely won’t sign with the Bengals. The second tier is a group of players that I would throw top-end money at. And the third tier contains players who would be great additions but I wouldn’t break the bank for.

Tier 1:

- EDGE Jadeveon Clowney
- WR Amari Cooper
- DL Yannick Ngakoue

Tier 2:

- CB Byron Jones
- OT Jack Conklin
- EDGE Whitney Mercilus
- OG Brandon Scherff
- LB Kyle Van Noy
- EDGE Vic Beasley
- CB Chris Harris
- EDGE Jamie Collins
- CB Marcus Peters
- DL Chris Jones

Tier 3:

- TE Austin Hooper
- CB Trae Waynes
- DL Arik Armstead
- EDGE Bud Dupree
- TE Hunter Henry
- CB Kendall Fuller
- EDGE Dante Fowler
- DL Mike Daniels
- OT Bryan Bulaga
- LB Danny Trevathan
- DL Leonard Williams
- EDGE Shaq Barrett
- OG Andrus Peat
- RB Kenyan Drake
- CB Eli Apple
- S Andrew Sendejo
- DL Gerald McCoy
- CB Jimmy Smith
- EDGE Ezekiel Ansah
- S HaHa Clinton-Dix
- DL Jarran Reed


Round 1:

This pick is as easy as they come. You take LSU QB Joe Burrow and you don’t look back. Dalton is gone, your head coach was hired to be an offensive genius and QB guru, and Burrow looks like the real deal. Submit the card now, Bengals.

Round 2:

If the Bengals fail to resign Green, then they should hope Alabama WR DeVonta Smith makes it out of the first round. He’s a first round talent that can be the top receiver post-Green.

If the Bengals do resign Green, they should look to the trenches on this pick.

On the offensive line:

- Alabama OT Alex Leatherwood
- Iowa OT Alaric Jackson
- Tennessee OG Trey Smith
- Notre Dame OG Tommy Kraemer

On the defensive line:

- Michigan State EDGE Kenny Willekes
- Alabama DL Raekwon Davis

Rounds 3-5:

The Bengals should look towards LB, CB, and TE in the middle rounds.


- Oregon’s Troy Dye
- LSU’s Jacob Phillips
- Cal’s Evan Weaver
- Miami’s Shaquille Quarterman
- Michigan’s Joe Bachie


- Ohio State’s Shaun Wade
- Virginia’s Bryce Hall
- Washington’s Myles Bryant
- Ohio State’s Damon Arnette
- Notre Dame’s Troy Pride Jr.
- Alabama’s Shyheim Carter
- Michigan’s Lavert Hill


- Oregon’s Jacob Breeland
- Stanford’s Colby Parkinson
- Ohio State’s Luke Farrell

Rounds 6-7:

In the late rounds, the Bengals should look at RB and WR regardless if they take DeVonta Smith in the second round.


- Oklahoma’s Trey Sermon
- South Carolina’s Tavien Feaster
- Charlotte’s Benny LeMay
- Memphis’ Patrick Taylor Jr.
- Notre Dame’s Tony Jones Jr.


- Vanderbilt’s Kalijah Lipscomb
- North Texas’ Rico Bussey Jr.
- UCLA’s Theo Howard
- Baylor’s Denzel Mims
- Florida’s Van Jefferson
- Ohio State’s Binjimen Victor


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