Here are the moves the Cincinnati Bengals should consider when free agency opens at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday:
Consider opening up cap space by parting ways with more veterans: The Bengals informed Adam Jones they weren't picking up his option, which will free about about $6 million in cap space, but with the addition of Chris Baker and the trade for Cordy Glenn, the Bengals, who figured they had about $14.5 million to spend on the market, are already limited in what they can do. They crossed off their first priority with the trade for Glenn. If they want to make more moves, they could free up almost $9 million by parting ways with Michael Johnson and Brandon LaFell.
Re-sign tight end Tyler Eifert ... for the right price: Eifert's contract is certainly a tricky one. The Bengals have said they would like him back, and they were certainly at their best offensively when Eifert was healthy in 2015. But after two injury-riddled seasons, signing Eifert is going to come with a lot of risks. The Bengals should certainly try to retain him, but only if they can get him at a contract that works for both him and the team. It's unclear if Eifert will accept any sort of one-year "prove it" contract, but obviously, his return will depend on how many other teams show interest or are willing to give him a larger amount of guaranteed money than the Bengals.
If Eifert doesn't return, look at other tight ends: Two intriguing prospect on the market are tight ends Jimmy Graham and Trey Burton. Graham was never as good in Seattle as he was in New Orleans, and at 31, he could be on his final contract. But his four seasons of double-digit receiving touchdowns, including 10 in 2017, certainly can't be ignored. If the Bengals don't re-sign Eifert, they should take a look at Graham if they could get him for any sort of bargain price. However, with the state of the free agent tight end market, that's probably unlikely. Although Tyler Kroft has improved greatly in Cincinnati, he isn't Graham or Eifert at his peak.
Continue looking for safeties: The Bengals were in the mix for former Panthers safety Kurt Coleman and made him a competitive offer before he ultimately signed with New Orleans. That shows that they are serious about improving their secondary. Although at first glance it seems the Bengals are set with George Iloka and Shawn Williams, neither was particularly impressive last season, and the Bengals have professed the need to create more turnovers. The most obvious answer to fix that problem would be signing Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu if Arizona cuts him before he receives a $5 million roster bonus. However, Mathieu is likely out of the Bengals' price range. An intriguing possibility would be to lure back former Bengals safety Reggie Nelson. He is 34, but he has shown that he can create turnovers, and he wouldn't come at a high price because of his age.