The Cincinnati Bengals have quickly become one of the strongest teams in the AFC in recent seasons. Their run to the Super Bowl in the 2021 season shocked a lot of people, but they announced their presence again this season, advancing to the AFC Championship Game.
This time around, however, they were unable to get past the Kansas City Chiefs, losing 23-20. There were a few things that kept them from making a second consecutive trip to the Super Bowl, namely their struggles in the trenches.
The Bengals need to improve on both the offensive and defensive line this offseason if they are going to climb the mountaintop and take home the Lombardi Trophy. Protecting Joe Burrow is a must, as he has gotten beaten and battered throughout his career behind shaky offensive line performance.
While that is what a lot of people harp on when it comes to the Bengals, they need to also address some needs on the defensive side of the ball. Cincinnati’s defense, overall, was very strong. They ranked sixth in scoring defense but their pass rush left a lot to be desired.
The Bengals recorded only 30 sacks on the season and their inability to create pressure on Patrick Mahomes was a big reason they lost in the AFC Championship Game. Upgrading the pass rush should be near the top of their to-do list this offseason and one player that could pique their interest is Cameron Jordan of the New Orleans Saints.
The Saints are in salary cap hell once again as they are approaching $60 million over the salary cap. That will lead to some major changes on the roster, which could include trading away some veterans on big contracts. Jordan would fall into that category and be a prime target for the Bengals.
Over at Bleacher Report, Kristopher Knox suggested a trade between the teams. Jordan would head to Cincinnati in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick. The Saints would save $14.9 million by designating Jordan as a post-June 1 deal, something that they desperately need.
Projected to have ample cap space, the Bengals should have no qualms about absorbing the money on Jordan’s contract. He remains a productive pass rusher, picking up 8.5 sacks and logging 17 quarterback pressures in 2022 despite being 33 years old.
That kind of production is exactly what the Bengals could need opposite of Trey Hendrickson. Reuniting the former Saints teammates would give Cincinnati the kind of pass-rushing boost they are lacking to get over the hump.
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