Cincinnati Bengals Free Agency Agreements
Today marked the start of NFL free agency and, true to form from last year, the Cincinnati Bengals made moves early.
The first move was to get a commitment from former Tampa Bay guard Alex Cappa. The Bengals will pay $40 million over four years to secure the services of Cappa. Presumably, Cappa will start at right guard and solidify a position that turned into the literal revolving door.
Quick Take: This is a good move. Cappa is tough — he tried to play in the 2020 Wild Card game with a broken leg. Bengals fans know that OL coach Frank Pollack is looking for tough guys, and it appears that Cappa fits the bill. The former third-round pick out of Humboldt State should be the opening day starter at guard.
The Bengals kept their focus on the offensive line, and reached an agreement with former New England center Ted Karras. The agreed deal is for three years, carrying a price tag of $18 million. The assumption is that Karras will step into the starting center role; however, he has experience at guard as well.
Quick Take: Another good move. Karras is an established stud on the interior. He is one of those late-round offensive line picks (sixth round out of Illinois) that have been the cornerstone of the Patriots winning seasons. He is tough and reliable, starting 44 games over the past three seasons between New England and Miami. Moreover, if the Bengals believe Trey Hopkins is good enough to start at center, Karras could bump over to the left guard.
Turning to Defensive Agreements
With the interior of the offensive line shored up, the Bengals then turned to the defensive side of the ball, announcing an agreement with B.J. Hill. The Bengals traded Billy Price for Hill at the beginning of last season. The defensive lineman quickly became a fan favorite and a stabilizing presence. The agreement is for a three year, $30 million deal.
Quick Take: As Vance Meek and I briefly discussed on Twitter (my handle is @mhfight – hit me up with any comments), this signing had to happen after Larry Ogunjobi reached an agreement with Chicago. As Vance noted, this move shows that the Bengals have a plan with the interior defensive line. Hill is solid and reliable, this is a good signing.
Over the next week, I’d expect the Bengals to continue to work on the offensive line in free agency. With C.J. Uzomah leaving for the New York Jets, tight end also becomes a position of need.