CINCINNATI BENGALS SET FOR BUSY OFFSEASON – FREE AGENCY, CONTRACT DECISIONS, SURGERIES, AND MORE
Super Bowl 57 was now over a week ago, and while the Kansas City Chiefs are still celebrating their Super Bowl title, the Cincinnati Bengals, among the NFL’s other teams, are well on their way to preparing for what will be a busy and long offseason.
The Bengals this offseason will look to find a way to get better in hopes of making it back to the Super Bowl next season. After losing in Super Bowl 56 to the Rams, the Bengals were just a few plays away from getting to Super Bowl 57 but ultimately fell to the Chiefs in the AFC Championship game.
At this point in the offseason, sportsbooks like the Bengal’s chances of not just getting back to the Super Bowl but winning their first Super Bowl Currently, they
have odds as strong as +850 to win the Super Bowl. Ohio residents can bet on Super Bowl 58 futures and more with Tipico Sportsbook Ohio.
Upcoming free agents and contract decisions…
Now that we’re into the offseason, the biggest storylines are surrounding NFL Free Agency, which begins in less than a month on March 15. Currently, 20 members of the Bengals are set to become free agents, including several big names for the defending AFC North champions. The biggest name set to hit free agency for the Bengals is, without a doubt, star safety Jessie Bates III.
The former Wake Forest standout played for the Bengals on a franchise tag for the 2022-23 season, and now the 25-year-old safety is in for a major payday. Contract estimates for the former second-round pick are upwards of $15m a year, which means his total contract could be in a total of $60 million or more.
Other notable names include strong safety Vonn Bell, cornerback Eli Apple, tight end Hayden Hurst, cornerback Trey Flowers, and running back Samaje Perine. Which players will the Bengals bring back in 2023? Which will let they let walk? We’ll find out over the next three weeks.
However, there could be one more major free agent from the Bengals this season, one that’s currently not expected to be. That would be a star running back, Joe Mixon. Former Oklahoma running back isn’t expected to be a free agent until 2025,
however, with Joe Burrow, among other players such as Ja’Marr Chase and others, all up for lucrative contract extensions in the near future, potentially this offseason, Mixon may end up being a casualty of the Bengal’s cap situation.
A potential contract extension for Joe Burrow could be worth up to $50 million per season, while a Ja’Marr Chase contract extension per season could be upwards of $25 million. There’s only so much money to go around, and with Burrow and Chase’s eventual cap hits potentially taking up nearly $75 million in cap hits, the Bengals will have some tough decisions to make, and Mixon could be one of the players on the short end of the stick from those extensions.
Jonah Williams & Joseph Ossai’s surgeries
The offseason is also the key time for players to have surgeries they’ve held off on getting and heal from injuries that stacked up over the course of the season. Two key Bengals recently went under the knife to clean up injuries in hopes of being to start next season. Offensive lineman Jonah Williams and defensive lineman Joseph Ossai both recently had surgeries to repair knee and shoulder injuries, respectively.
Williams suffered a dislocated kneecap in the Bnegals 24-17 win over the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Wild Card round; the surgery he underwent last week should allow him to be ready for training camp in July. He’s set to enter the last year of his rookie contract with the Bengals.
Ossai, on the other hand, had a torn labrum which required surgery. The second-year defensive end played in 16 games for the Bengals this past season, recording 17 total tackles, including two tackles for a loss and three-and-half sacks.
Chris Lammons case
Enough is already on the plate for NFL teams, any given off-season. The last thing they want to have to handle is any potential wrongdoings of their players. The Bengals, unfortunately, are in that situation as recent cornerback addition Chris Lammons has been indicted alongside three others, including New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara, for an incident that occurred in Las Vegas last February.
Lammons was claimed by the Bengals the week of the AFC Championship game after he was waived by the Kansas City Chiefs but did not officially join the team until this past week due to NFL rules.