The Cincinnati Bengals will not make their biggest move of the offseason until they officially come on the clock with the No. 1 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, but they have uncharacteristically been one of the league’s busier teams during this free agency period.
The first week of player movement saw the Bengals lavish double-digit million dollar per year contracts on former Texans defensive lineman D.J. Reader (four years, $53 million) and former Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes (three years, $42 million). They also inked Waynes’ former Minnesota teammate Mackensie Alexander to a one-year, $4 million pact and former Cowboys offensive lineman Xavier Su’a-Filo to a three-year, $9 million deal.
Safety was a need for the Bengals, who previously saw Clayton Fejedelem leave for a three-year deal with the Dolphins. Cincinnati still has Shawn Williams and 2018 second-rounder Jessie Bates at the position, but the depth chart was pretty bare beyond those two players. Additionally, Williams’ contract expires at the end of the 2020 season, and given his age (he’ll be 29 in May) and the Bengals’ current trajectory, it may not make much sense for them to bring him back on another new deal that runs into his 30s.
Bell, who was the Saints’ second-rounder in 2016, is still only 25 years old and became available this offseason when the Saints turned their attention to Malcolm Jenkins and gave him a four-year deal.
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