By Ben Babcock
There’s really not much to talk about when it comes to the Bengals this offseason. They didn’t make any big moves and they didn’t lose much either. It kinda seems like the Bengals just don’t care. The Steelers have blasted ahead of them and they haven’t tried to make any moves. They just brought back Marvin Lewis who has had a lot of success but is gonna need some new toys if they want him to lead them back to the top of the AFC North. The Bengals are doing the exact opposite of that. Same old crew coming back for 2018.
They swapped 1st round picks with the Bill to get OT Cordy Glenn, signed quarterback Matt Barkley, and brought back Eifert and Huber. Cordy Glenn is a great addition because the Bengals were weak at OT, but the rest of these moves are just eh. Yeah, it’s good to have a reliable punter so holding onto Huber is good, but Eifert hasn’t done much since 2015, and Matt Barkley also hasn’t done much of anything. The Bengals have the weapons, it just doesn’t seem to click.
Their offense isn’t great, but it’s still better than their defense. They added some strength to the D-line by signing DT Chris Baker. Other than that though they haven’t touched the defense. Vontaze Burfict is a liability on defense at this point with all of his suspensions. Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins are the most solid players on this defense and they are entering the back half of their careers. The Bengals really need to start rebuilding on the defensive side of the ball.
Expect Cincinnati to add to basically every defensive position in this year’s draft, starting with a linebacker. Rashaan Evans out of Alabama is perfect for them, they need a young linebacker to pair with Vincent Rey, they aren’t going to move forward with Burfict much longer. They’ve got 11 picks in the draft, so they could get some good depth and start developing players. I seem them going for more offensive linemen in the 2nd or 3rd round, but then right back to defense after that, adding to the secondary and defensive line.
The Bengals have a lot of work to do in the next season. After all the moves the Browns made this offseason if the Bengals don’t improve, I honestly could see them dropping to the bottom of the AFC North. They need to get it together on offense and just start to develop on defense. If you can get Andy Dalton, A.J. Green, and Joe Mixon rolling and not so up and down like last year, they’ll be alright.