This offseason for the Cincinnati Bengals has to focus on one thing and that puts the offensive line on course. It’s been about five seasons since Cincinnati had a strong offensive line.
The franchise has always had a top-notch offensive line, but things kept getting worse under head coach Zac Taylor. With Frank Pollack named as the new Bengals offensive coach, the Cincinnati offensive line needs the right staff to acquire this off-season.
The offensive line begins with grabbing an experienced leader this off-season
In the 2020 off-season, the Bengals surprised everyone with the purchase of an independent defense agency. In the 2021 off-season, the offense should have a strong presence in the free hand, especially on the Bengals offensive line. One player that has kept the most pundits busy is the New England Patriots Guard Joe Thuney.
Thuney was the third round of elections for the patriots from the state of North Carolina in 2016. He was on the all-rookie team in 2016 and all-pro on the second team in 2019. Thuney has two Super Bowl rings so leading the Bengals offensive line helps. Thuney is also the only player to ever start a Super Bowl in his first three seasons.
Last season the Patriots awarded Thuney the Franchise Tag. This was due to the need for a young leader on the offensive line that they can trust. There aren’t that many offensive linemen to trust in their rookie deal, but Thuney is an exception. Pro football focus predicts Thuney’s next deal will be a very lucrative deal.
The market value for Thuney is set at 13.9 million per season and he wants a four-year contract. PFF predicts the Arizona Cardinals can get him by age four and $ 57. The Bengals have the option to pass it over.
Bengals should pick Penei Sewell in the 2021 NFL draft
According to Sewell is one of the best generation devices of the last two decades. There is a deep offensive line class, but the closest lineman isn’t anywhere near the planet Sewell is on. Sewell hasn’t played since his sophomore year 2019. Sewell won the Outland Trophy and the Morris Trophy in 2019.
Sewell was also named First Team All-Pac-12 and unanimously All-American in the same year. Sewell ended his junior season due to Covid and is still the best offensive lineman Scouts have seen in decades.
How the offensive line could look after the off-season
With the fifth selection, Sewell would move on to the left tackle. Jonah Williams, the first round pick of the Bengals in 2019, would move into the right attacking position. That would work Bobby Hart in the bank or could be cut for $ 5.9 million in savings.
Thuney would take the left guard position while Quinton Spain would remain with the Bengals right guard. Trey Hopkins has been the only constant for the past two seasons as the Bengals Center and Billy Price would endorse him.
The changes in the offensive line suggested above would help the Bengals protect quarterback Joe Burrow. Those offseason priorities for the Bengals should be to design Sewell and try to get Thuney signed.