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2022 General Free Agency Thread


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Figured espn's release of its top 50 FA list was as good a time as any to begin a fresh thread. Paywalled of course but here's some highlights. Anyone has a question just let me know.

https://www.espn.com/nfl/insider/story/_/id/33133108/top-nfl-free-agents-2022-ranking-best-50-players-potentially-market-offseason

Only one Bengal on the list:

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5. Jessie Bates III, S

2021 team: Cincinnati Bengals | Age entering 2022 season: 25

The Bengals elected not to sign Bates to a contract extension after his strong 2020 showing (three interceptions and 15 passes defended), and they'll be right back in the same spot this spring. Bates' 2021 season might not have matched his previous performance (one interception), but he remains among the better young safeties in the game and would certainly have a strong market if he doesn't re-sign with the Bengals.

 

Here are the top OL. Lot of targets if they choose to boost the line through FA (and I think they should, aggressively):

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2. Terron Armstead, OT

2021 team: New Orleans Saints | Age entering 2022 season: 31

We don't tend to include many 31-year-olds in these initial free-agent rankings, especially ones who missed more than half of the previous season and are planning to undergo offseason knee surgery. But if even a serviceable left tackle is available -- and Armstead is well above that baseline, when healthy -- he will be heavily pursued. The final year of Armstead's contract automatically voids, so he will be eligible for free agency if the Saints don't first re-sign him.

6. Orlando Brown Jr., OT

2021 team: Kansas City Chiefs | Age entering 2022 season: 26

Brown acquitted himself well after engineering a trade from the Ravens to the Chiefs in order to play left tackle, earning a spot on the AFC's Pro Bowl roster, and now he's in line for a major payday. It would be really surprising if the Chiefs didn't retain him in some fashion after sending the Ravens four draft picks to get him, including their first-round selection in 2021. High-end left tackles rarely see the market, especially at Brown's age.

18. Trent Brown, OT

2021 team: New England Patriots | Age entering 2022 season: 29

Brown hit a huge payday during his 2019 entry into free agency, signing a four-year, $66 million deal with the Raiders, but he made it only two years before being traded back to the Patriots. He managed to play nine games this season, and prospective suitors will have to assess why he has changed teams three times in seven years, but a veteran tackle of most any background is going to be sought after on the open market.

27. Ryan Jensen, C

2021 team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Age entering 2022 season: 31

Jensen has played out the four-year, $42 million deal he signed after moving to Tampa Bay from the Ravens in 2018, one of the better free-agent signings in recent memory. He hasn't missed a start, was named to the Pro Bowl this season and should have several highly productive years remaining in his career.

28. James Daniels, G

2021 team: Chicago Bears | Age entering 2022 season: 24

Daniels produced in a strong return from a torn pectoral muscle that limited his 2020 season to five games. Overall, he has started 48 games in four seasons. You might not have heard much about him, but Daniels is the kind of young, big body that teams rarely see on the open market.

31. Bradley Bozeman, C

2021 team: Baltimore Ravens | Age entering 2022 season: 27

The eventual successor to Ryan Jensen in Baltimore, Bozeman has started for three consecutive seasons. He ranked No. 2 among centers in ESPN's pass block win rate metric in 2021 (97.2%) and No. 7 in run block win rate (71.5%). The Ravens will try to find a way to keep him, but if he hits the open market, he would make a big impact on his new team's offensive line.

32. Cam Robinson, OT

2021 team: Jacksonville Jaguars | Age entering 2022 season: 26

Robinson played the 2021 season on a franchise tag. The Jaguars weren't ready to commit long-term, but they didn't give up on the No. 34 overall pick of the 2017 draft. He arguably had his best season, but he still ranked No. 48 among NFL tackles in ESPN's pass block win rate metric (86.1%). His age and experience at the left tackle position, however, will guarantee him interest around the league if he doesn't re-sign with the Jaguars.

33. Connor Williams, G

2021 team: Dallas Cowboys | Age entering 2022 season: 25

Williams led the league with 13 offensive holding penalties and ranked second with 15 total flags in 2021. That's the bad news. The good news is that he's a still-young interior lineman who has been a starter for four seasons. Williams has developed into a top-25 guard in the NFL, based on ESPN's run and pass block win rate metrics, and he has plenty of room left to grow.

34. Andrew Norwell, G

2021 team: Jacksonville Jaguars | Age entering 2022 season: 30

The Jaguars restructured Norwell's contract last year to cut a year away from their initial commitment of a monster five-year, $66.5 million deal in 2018. But he played well enough in 2021 to be more than a serviceable option. He ranked No. 7 among guards in ESPN's run block win rate metric (73.2%) and No. 15 in pass block win rate (93.8%).

38. Laken Tomlinson, G

2021 team: San Francisco 49ers | Age entering 2022 season: 30

Tomlinson turned himself into a fixture of the 49ers' offensive line after being traded by the Lions just before the start of the 2017 season. He has played through the resulting three-year contract extension he signed and is still young enough to see a second significant payday. He has missed only one start since joining the 49ers and is the type of reliable steady hand that qualifies as a free-agent gem.

44. Duane Brown, OT

2021 team: Seattle Seahawks | Age entering 2022 season: 37

It's certainly unusual to include on this list, a player who will be 37 when the season begins, but Brown remains a very good player at a position where the NFL experiences an annual shortage. He has missed only four starts in four seasons since the Seahawks acquired him in 2018, all of which came in 2019, and he would be a strong option for a team seeking a short-term fill-in at the left tackle position.

47. Brian Allen, C

2021 team: Los Angeles Rams | Age entering 2022 season: 26

Allen has started 25 games over the past two seasons and has established himself as a solid NFL center with room to grow. Among centers, he ranked No. 14 in ESPN's run block win rate metric (67.3%) and No. 24 in pass block win rate (91.2%) in 2021.

48. Austin Corbett, G

2021 team: Los Angeles Rams | Age entering 2022 season: 27

Corbett developed into a serviceable starting guard after the Rams acquired him from the Browns in 2019. He isn't going to change the track of your entire offense, having ranked No. 32 among guards in ESPN's run block win rate metric (69.5%) and No. 51 in pass block win rate (88.9%), but he can fill a starting role for a needy team.

 

 

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Give me Bozeman from Baltimore. 
Takes care of the Center position for the next 3-4 years and weakens a division rival.

I would also take a shot on Norwell on a 2 year deal with a 3rd year option. 
Cincinnati native that may find motivation in playing for his hometown contending team.

Hell, why not Wraith.  Give me Daniels too !!
The Bengals need to do everything in their power to make sure Burrow isn't taking 50 damn sacks in 2022.

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10 minutes ago, ArmyBengal said:

Give me Bozeman from Baltimore. 
Takes care of the Center position for the next 3-4 years and weakens a division rival.

I would also take a shot on Norwell on a 2 year deal with a 3rd year option. 
Cincinnati native that may find motivation in playing for his hometown contending team.

Hell, why not Wraith.  Give me Daniels too !!
The Bengals need to do everything in their power to make sure Burrow isn't taking 50 damn sacks in 2022.

I am fine with as many bites at the oline apple as they can take. Give me multiple FAs and multiple draft picks.

At this point Williams, Spain and Hopkins are the only three guys I have in my “definite keeper” pile, and even there I would be fine with trying to upgrade any and all of those positions. They are just lower priority imo. They can churn the rest of the oline room for all I care. I wouldn’t advocate that of course, it’s far too early to give up on Smith or Carmen, and Adenji and Prince have had good moments…and bad. But bottom line no one on the oline today should go into the offseason thinking he’s got a lock on a job next fall.

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Spain didn't make the list?   Interesting considering his PFF grades.  

Really not sure what direction they go via FA with OL.   Their dealing with Spain and RR will be big clues. 

Get ready for the offseason narrative of how much of the pressure is generated from the way Burrow plays.     I was listening to Brian Callahan on and off last night from Bengals line and they were putting blame at multiple spots and some of that Lap was agreeing with. 

We are drafting 29th or worse which isn't guaranteed you land a starting caliber OL player. 

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They were mostly limiting the list to younger guys. Spain turned 30 a few months back, so he didn’t make the cut.

I wouldn’t object to another year of Reiff but if they are going to go FA at RT I’d say it would be better to use that money for a longer term solution.

I don’t think Spain will have a huge market so if they want to bring him back he shouldn’t be super costly. (Of course a lot could change between now and free agency so…)

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Big question is how they feel about Carmen. I mean Adenji was getting destroyed over and over and over last Saturday and they didn’t make a move. Jackson has been…well, a rookie…but I don’t think even he has had as bad a game as Adenji did. So I wonder if the same attitude/effort issues that led to him showing up overweight and immediately getting demoted to fourth string last summer have resurfaced. No way to know obviously but obviously bears watching.

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Are any of these projected FA OTs....R I G H T  tackles?

my top target in FA is a top10 (top15 at worst) ORT. 

an ORT

not an OT

not an OLT

ORT

btw.......Daniels was one of the three top Centers the year we wanted a center early

Ragnow?  Pro Bowl level.  went one pick before us.  Detroit specifically jumped ahead of us to get him.

Price?  Yeah, you know how that went

Daniels?  Starter level.  Bengals bypassed him in favor of Price.

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Just fix it.  I couldn't care less how they go about doing it.  Just do.
Bring in free agent starters, draft new players, kidnap players and threaten their families....  I DON'T CARE.

I'm good with Williams sticking.  EVERY OTHER O-LINE POSITION IS UP FOR GRABS !!!
That is how I enter 2022 and let all the new additions fight it out.
Upgrade starters, upgrade the depth, upgrade whatever you need to to get them to perform better.
Best shoes, hookers, personal chefs, waterbeds or whatever the hell else they need to keep them from getting Burrow killed.

No, don't give up on Jackson, Adeniji, Smith or anyone else, but they are competing for spots just like anyone else.
FIX THE O-LINE

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On 1/25/2022 at 2:25 PM, ArmyBengal said:

Just fix it.  I couldn't care less how they go about doing it.  Just do.
Bring in free agent starters, draft new players, kidnap players and threaten their families....  I DON'T CARE.

I'm good with Williams sticking.  EVERY OTHER O-LINE POSITION IS UP FOR GRABS !!!
That is how I enter 2022 and let all the new additions fight it out.
Upgrade starters, upgrade the depth, upgrade whatever you need to to get them to perform better.
Best shoes, hookers, personal chefs, waterbeds or whatever the hell else they need to keep them from getting Burrow killed.

No, don't give up on Jackson, Adeniji, Smith or anyone else, but they are competing for spots just like anyone else.
FIX THE O-LINE

GIMME A LINEMAN! Nope, never mind, draft a lineman at every pick and then pick up five more in FA. Drive a truck onto the field and have Joey toss bombs from the bed. An actual revolving door takes longer to get through than our O-line at this point. 

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On 1/25/2022 at 12:30 PM, HoosierCat said:

Big question is how they feel about Carmen. I mean Adenji was getting destroyed over and over and over last Saturday and they didn’t make a move. Jackson has been…well, a rookie…but I don’t think even he has had as bad a game as Adenji did. So I wonder if the same attitude/effort issues that led to him showing up overweight and immediately getting demoted to fourth string last summer have resurfaced. No way to know obviously but obviously bears watching.

Carmen is a bit of a mystery.    He never looked as  bad as Adeniji has the past few weeks.     I think Adeniji is hitting the wall and still won't be shocked if a lower body injury is reported in the off season.   He missed alot of training with his first injury.

IMO,  their dealings with Spain will set the stage for expectations.  I would be floored/shocked if they look outside the current room for a starting guard.   I think Adeniji prior to his first injury would have gotten run at LG over Spain.   Spain has answered the bell in a contract year so we'll see. 

Carmen with a solid off season and hopefully there isn't a back issue could be a solid starting player, IMO.   He has some nasty highlights from the All-22. 

If they expend FA dollars on the OL,  I think it will be Center or Tackle.   I really wouldn't be surprised to see Carmen get a shot at RT.

 

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I guess I just made an assumption that with Carmen being a LT during his time at Clemson that if they were going to transition him to OG, it would have been on the left side.  I'm still curious if that wouldn't be a more natural spot for him as opposed to the right side.  Spain has played well and made that a non concern, but moving forward I still wonder.

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I have always put Carmen on the right because his of his power.   That might be a little old school thinking. 

The issue is going to be how much do you trust Pollack?   Sure he has to have capable guys to work with BUT the out of the box OL is harder to find in the draft and so our current group may need to be seasoned.   I dunno know.

 

 

 

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I think it comes down to effort and does the kid want to work on his game in the off-season.  He showed up at camp out of shape and there have been rumors all season.  We will see in training camp how much this means to him.

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The brady retirement and the Saints in disarray means drawing the AFC south next year helps us in terms of lightening up the difficult schedule a tad.

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17 minutes ago, TJJackson said:

Did any of you all see the tweet from Spain that (strongly) implied that Justin Jefferson is coming to the Bengals next year?

I cant find it......

I can’t see how that could even happen.  He’s going into the 3rd year of his rookie deal.  The Vikings have him for two more years, minimum.
 

Great player and I’m sure he’d love to be reunited with his LSU teammates Burrow, Chase, Shelvin, but it just seems impossible. 

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1 hour ago, TJJackson said:

Did any of you all see the tweet from Spain that (strongly) implied that Justin Jefferson is coming to the Bengals next year?

I cant find it......

It literally makes no sense. 

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We already have so many mouths to feed, that it's crazy to think about.

Chase, Higgins, Boyd, CJ and Mixon as your top 5 targets.
When looking at their targets during the regular season, the average targets per player is 88.6 on the season or a bit over 5 per game.
Now Chase and Mixon are the outliers in opposite directions, but Boyd was just above average at 94.

Would we think he could get more ??  Maybe, but I think that's also a product of Burrow taking what the defense gives him.
We saw that even more around the mid point of the season and I recall Burrow making a comment similar in nature.

The next closest WR after Boyd was Thomas who had 11 targets for the whole season.
Just giving some perspective that I was really wasn't aware of until I went looking.
 

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There's more room for production from this offense.   They were only top half in yards.     The issue with Jefferson is Higgins.     Jefferson by virtue of being a 1st round pick has 5th year option.   Higgins would hit FA 1 year prior.  Then you have Chase with a 5th year.  

So not worth the draft capital, IMO. Because eventually you are losing someone.  If you want to add a WR take the Alabama player that got hurt in the CFP.  Most mocks have him falling late 1st.  You get 5 years.

But the best way to vault this offense into the top 5 is sustained drives.  They need to be able to run block vs light boxes when teams play coverage and of course solid protection vs. good 4 man fronts.

 

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