The Cincinnati Bengals went 2-14 in 2019. That was the worst record in the entire NFL.
That means they have the first pick in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft. However, that’s not where the rebuild should stop.
Cincinnati needs to build around their new young stars (likely number one pick QB Joe Burrow for example). With that in mind, they should dive into free agency and find some talent that can help them go from the worst team in the league, to true competitors.
Who should they go after though? Here are three underrated free agents the Bengals should target this offseason.
Currently, Andy Dalton is on the roster. It makes zero sense to keep him though. Burrow will be the number one draft pick and will likely start immediately.
Dalton on the other hand doesn’t want to be a backup at this stage in his career. So the Bengals will trade him for a draft pick likely.
They’ll want a veteran that can help guide Burrow though. Case Keenum has already done this in the past. He might want to go somewhere with a chance to start, but Cincinnati should go after him anyways.
He’ll come pretty cheap and has proven he’s not a bad option if you need him to start.
Speaking of Burrow, the Bengals will want to protect him. Last season they allowed 48 sacks, that was the ninth worst in the NFL.
Demar Dotson is a tackle that would immediately boost their offensive line. He would provide them with another legitimate starter, and some real depth at the position.
As of right now, if someone gets hurt, the entire line could turn into a disaster area. Having depth is important, especially when you have the number one overall draft pick at quarterback.
Dotson is a real talent and won’t come too expensive. He’d add a veteran presence to the line as well. If the Bengals can scoop him up they should absolutely do it.
Somehow, Armstead is underrated. That’s despite leading the San Francisco 49ers in sacks in 2019.
Yes, I’m talking about the 49ers that made it to the Super Bowl. The 49ers that had one of the best defenses. Oh, and the 49ers team that boasted Nick Bosa.
Bosa took all the headlines. It makes sense that he got most of them, he’s an uber talented rookie who had a ridiculous year.
Armstead still outpaced him when it came to sacks though. Yet, no one is really talking about him all that much.
There’s a strong chance the 49ers franchise tag him. If they don’t though, he’s free game. He had 10 sack in 2019, which is more than anyone on the Bengals.
Armstead is also still just 26. He can take a longterm contract and be a real part of the Cincinnati rebuild, as well as be there for the culmination of it.