Bengals To Spend Big On O-Line?

The Bengals’ offensive line was a major question mark going into the 2020 season, and the fear was that poor blocking would jeopardize the health of rookie quarterback Joe Burrow. And then that fear became reality, as Burrow suffered a torn ACL and MCL in Week 11 and the silver lining of another lost season in Cincinnati was quickly tarnished. So, a year after Cincinnati committed significant free agent dollars to the defensive side of the ball while relying on its existing offensive linemen to develop, Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic says the team appears poised to reverse a long-standing trend and to spend big on the O-line.

Jonah Williams will remain the starting left tackle, but the other four spots are up for grabs. There is some hope that the return of O-line coach Frank Pollack will help left guard Michael Jordan, but after Jordan’s poor performance in 2020, it would not be at all surprising to see the Bengals pursue an upgrade (though the team has been historically reluctant to make major investments at guard).

The ACL injury that center Trey Hopkins sustained in the team’s regular season finale could mean that former first-rounder Billy Price will get one more chance to prove himself as a starting pivot, but again, after seeing Burrow writhing on the ground in pain, Cincy could seek reinforcements on the open market.

If the team does make a major free agent splash, it would likely come at right tackle, where Taylor Moton may be available. The Panthers might put the franchise tag on Moton, but if that doesn’t happen, expect the Bengals to be an active bidder for his services. Dehner also suggests that, if the team finally opens up its wallet for a guard, Joe Thuney would appear to be a perfect fit.

Whether it’s through free agency, the draft, or some combination thereof, Cincinnati has to do something. The club does want to re-sign Quinton Spain, who helped provide some stability at guard after he signed with the Bengals in October, and right tackle Bobby Hart is expected to be released, which will open up $6MM in cap space and a spot for a quality free agent. B.J. Finney, who came over from Seattle in the Carlos Dunlap trade, is also unlikely to return.

There is plenty of young skill position talent in the Queen City. With a couple of additions to the O-line, the Bengals’ offense could well be a serious threat in 2021 and beyond.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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12 comments on “Bengals To Spend Big On O-Line?

  1. GoChargers

    I’m hoping to see an article about the Chargers going big on the offensive line upgrades.

    • despicable_you

      Na, the Anthony Lynn stench is gonna take a couple of years to go away.

      • GoChargers

        Don’t think he’s got a lingering stench. His biggest problem was clock management and GameDay decisions but a new coach hopefully fixes that and I trust Telesco to do well with the cap space.

  2. Simmons>Russ

    Bengals should get Forrest Lamp, Joe Thuney and Julian Davenport.

    Might not seem like much but it’s money saving moves. Thuney will be an instant upgrade and solid starter. Lamp was a former second round pick a few years ago, is still only 26 and will be a decent starter/back up. Davenport again similar situation as Lamp, will be a cheap back up and is only 26.

    Give Burrow some protection, and help Mixons running game. But this team has lots of areas to address. AJ Green is leaving so they will need another receiver, the defence sucks and is getting old.
    Think they need to get in some quality, some young high potential dudes and some role players

    • joeshmoe11

      You’re missing the point here. They don’t need, nor are they expected to pursue, decent/reserve players. They need studs and are actually expecting to be in the market for once

      • Simmons>Russ

        Yeah get 1 good starter in Thuney and then just get small upgrades that are young is what I’m saying. So spend up to much cause you need to invest in other areas too

  3. Dev0

    add Thuney, and Draft Sewell and draft at least another 1-2 guys for depth or sign a depth guy.

  4. crosseyedlemon

    Teams know enough to lock in their good OL for 4 or 5 yrs so there is almost no chance of finding good upgrades through free agency.

  5. ekrog

    The Bengals has all 2020 off season knowing they were going to invest in Burrow, and did almost nothing to improve the worst OL in the NFL. It took a shredded knee to make them realize what everyone knew. NOW they want to address it.

    This is the stupidest franchise in history. Mikey Brown took over the team in 1991-92. Last playoff win 90-91. Do you need that spelled out too Mikey?

    • crosseyedlemon

      The Bengals aren’t the only team to put the cart before the horse. Drafting a QB is the quick fix approach but it’s much more difficult to rebuild an OL, especially when a dozen other teams in the league have a similar need.

  6. MileHighFan

    Good luck with that. The Broncos have made the mistake of signing some expensive free agent OL people over the last 6 years in order to fix “holes” in the offensive line and they all turned out to be oft-injured/nothing special.

    Jared Veldheer
    Ja’Wuan James
    Menelik Watson
    Russell Okung

    Better to pick up a lot of second teamers and see if you can develop a couple of them to supplement your draft.

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