Day 1 of free agency has come and gone and so have the hopes of most Bengals fans. The team lost Carl Lawson to the Jets, but made a late night signing of Trey Hendrickson to replace him. Fans have no real reason to panic yet, but all of the top offensive linemen have signed with teams not located in Cincinnati. But like I said, it was day 1.
The division-rival Ravens kicked off free agency by signing Kevin Zeitler. The former Bengals’ guard was thought to be once again in play for Cincinnati, but Baltimore wasted no time offering him more money. Daryl Williams was the most realistic OT target, but the Bills made sure to keep him in Buffalo. And the guy most coveted by Cincinnatians, New England’s Joe Thuney, signed a 5 year/80 million dollar mega deal with Kansas City.
The entire organization seems to be on the same page that the team needs to upgrade in the trenches. I’ve said it. Zac Taylor has said it. Duke Tobin has said it. But with the money and cap space available to make another splash or two in free agency, they should allocate a big portion of their resources to skill positions. In no way am I insinuating that we should give up on the line that is protecting Joe Burrow. Day 2 should be filled with additions to the Bengals roster but the guys getting paid anything significant are most likely not offensive linemen.
Curtis Samuel, Kenny Golladay and Will Fuller sit at the top of the short wishlist. With the team clearly banking on Oregon prospect Penei Sewell falling to them in the draft, the least they could do is add a weapon that can create separation quickly.
The saying goes, “it’s a marathon, not a sprint,” but the Bengals may want to start sprinting.