The Cincinnati Bengals ended their offseason program on June 14. Here’s a look at how they fared:
Offseason goals: Fix the offense. The Bengals promoted Bill Lazor from interim coordinator to fulltime offensive coordinator, hired a new wide receivers and quarterbacks coach, and went about trying to fix a broken offensive line. They traded for left tackle Cordy Glenn and re-signed tight end Tyler Eifert to a deal that was friendly for both sides. But considering how much the Bengals’ offense struggled last year, they have quite a battle ahead to fix things.
How they fared: Average
Move I liked: Trading for Cordy Glenn. The move to get Glenn was twofold — it showed the Bengals realized they made a mistake by letting Andrew Whitworth go with the expectation that former first-round pick Cedric Ogbuehi would step up at left tackle. Ogbuehi has struggled at both tackle positions, and clearly the Bengals realize he probably isn’t starter material at the moment after declining to pick up his fifth-year option. This move also showed the Bengals’ urgency to fix the offensive line and surround Andy Dalton with good offensive pieces.
Move I didn’t like: Failing to address the rest of the offensive line on the second day of the draft. Three of the five starters are presumably Glenn, Clint Boling and first round pick Billy Price, but right guard and right tackle are up in the air. Jake Fisher was the starting right tackle last year before his season ended early when he had to undergo a heart procedure. He’s by no means a lock to start this year, and right guard doesn’t have a set starter either. The Bengals addressed center by drafting Price, but they didn’t take another lineman until the seventh round. That could end up being an issue in the future.
Biggest question still to be answered in training camp: The offensive line comes to mind when first considering questions about the 2018 Bengals, but the other big question centers around the team’s offensive weapons. The Bengals’ offense is never going to get out of last place if it continues to force the ball to A.J. Green for lack of a better option. That’s why Eifert, John Ross and Joe Mixon are going to be critical components. Eifert needs to stay healthy, and Ross needs to live up to his first-round status. Mixon had some solid games last season, but the Bengals are going to need him to keep improving as well if they want a shot to change the offense.
Quotable: “I told our players as I stood in front of them on Monday morning, that regardless of who was standing in front of them when they got back together, they had to be ready to be a better football team. Internally, each of them, they have to be ready to press themselves, do more and be better, regardless of who was standing in the front of that room when they got back together." — Bengals coach Marvin Lewis on Jan. 3 after re-signing for a 16th season.
Salary-cap space: $14,667,818
2018 draft picks: 1st round: C Billy Price (Ohio State); 2nd round: S Jessie Bates III (Wake Forest); 3rd round: DE Sam Hubbard (Ohio State), LB Malik Jefferson (Texas); 4th round: RB Mark Walton (Miami); 5th round: CB Davontae Harris (Illinois State), DL Andrew Brown (Virginia), CB Darius Phillips (Western Michigan); 7th round: QB Logan Woodside (Toledo), G Rod Taylor (Mississippi), WR Auden Tate (Florida State)
Undrafted rookie free agents signed: WR Ka'Raun White (West Virginia), RB Quinton Flowers (South Florida), S Trayvon Henderson (Hawaii), LB Chris Worley (Ohio State), LB Junior Joseph (Connecticut) DE Ja'Von Rolland-Jones (Arkansas State), RB Ray Lawry (Old Dominion), TE Jordan Franks (Central Florida), DE Gaelin Elmore (East Carolina) WR Devonte Boyd (UNLV), T Austin Fleer (Colorado Mesa), S Tyrice Beverette (Stony Brook), C Brad Lundblade (Oklahoma State), DT Chris Okoye (Ferris State)
Restricted free agents signed: None
Players acquired via trade: LT Cordy Glenn (from Bills)