The Cincinnati Bengals are not going to pick up their fifth-year option on offensive lineman Cedric Ogbuehi, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports.
The Bengals will not pick up OL Cedric Ogbuehi’s option for 2019, source says. The 21st overall pick four years ago is headed to free agency next offseason. He’s struggled but if he can somehow turn a corner this year, he’ll be rewarded in the spring.
Ogbuehi is set to make $1.7 million this season and will become an unrestricted free agent next offseason after his $9.6 million option for 2019 was declined.
Ogbuehi was the Bengals’ 21st overall pick back in 2015. After getting limited playing time during his rookie year as he recovered from a torn ACL, Ogbuehi played 14 games in each of the last two seasons. He played primarily at right tackle in 2016 and at left tackle last season, while making 25 starts in those 28 games.
However, he did not sufficiently impress the Bengals while protecting quarterback Andy Dalton’s blindside. Cincinnati’s acquisition of veteran left tackle Cordy Glenn in a trade with the Buffalo Bills earlier this offseason further illustrated their lack of belief in Ogbeuhi as the answer at that key position. And by declining his option, it appears that they didn’t see a long-term future with him in Cincinnati.
Ogbuehi now figures to be the team’s third tackle behind likely starters Glenn and Jake Fisher during this upcoming season. While he has struggled in his first three years in the league, perhaps the added motivation of playing for his next contract could coax a more impressive campaign for Ogbuehi in 2018.
If not, then the Bengals can simply move on from Ogbuehi next offseason and concentrate on rebuilding their offensive line depth then.