The Cincinnati Bengals have become the team to beat after winning two straight division titles. This is a bit different than the Andy Dalton days, as you have seen the playoff success to follow. In one of their last offseasons, before they have to pay Joe Burrow, the Bengals were active, both signing and losing players.
We caught up with Leigh Oleszczak of StripeHype, our partner Bengals site to check in on their offseason so far.
Checking in on the Cincinnatti Bengals offseason.
Q: The Bengals moved from Jonah Williams to Orland Brown, how big of an upgrade is that?
Brown isn't a massively huge upgrade but he is an upgrade, especially in the run game. The Bengals weren't great at running the ball last year and their o-line played a pretty big role in that so the hope is that Brown will help turn things around there. He also only allowed four sacks all of last year while Williams allowed 12. That's going to be the difference right there
Q: Can Jonah Williams still be a high end tackle in the NFL?
Some of the talk surrounding Williams when he was drafted in 2019 was that he wasn't the ideal left tackle. He has short arms, making him more suitable to play guard but the Bengals went ahead and rolled with him as their left tackle. He's not a bad tackle by any means but he's injury prone and led the league in sacks allowed this past season. I wouldn't say he'll ever be a high-end left tackle but he can be a decent one
Q: What are Bengals fans hoping to get back in a Jonah Williams trade?
Truthfully, a team shouldn't give up anything more than a Day 3 pick for him but it'll depend on how desperate a team is for a left tackle. Williams carries a $12.6 million cap hit for 2023 after Cincinnati picked up his fifth-year option last year so he makes that money whether he's starting or not. I only think the Bengals will trade him if they can get a third-round pick or better. We keep hearing talks are heating up but no teams have been mentioned.
Q: Who will start at right tackle for the Bengals, and is that the biggest question on the offensive line now?
Collins might not be ready for Week 1 but if he is and Williams is traded, that's the only way he'll start at right tackle. If Williams is around, he starts there. If he's not, it's either Collins, former second-round pick Jackson Carman, newly-signed Cody Ford, or a draft pick at the position. The rest of the o-line is locked up with Brown at left tackle, Cordell Volson at left guard, Ted Karras at center, and Alex Cappa at right guard.
Q: Do the recent Lamar Jackson and DeShaun Watson contracts have fans worried about Joe Burrow?
I honestly don't think it does. While I certainly don't expect Joe Burrow to take a hometown discount, he knows that if he breaks the bank with his contract, it'll be harder to keep his favorite weapons around. The hope is that his contract is structured like Patrick Mahomes' is where he's tied to Cincinnati for a while but the big cap hits don't come until later in the deal.
Q: What can Bengals fans expect from Dax Hill in his second NFL season?
Dax Hill was drafted with the expectation that he'd be replacing Jessie Bates after the 2022 season and that's exactly what he'll be doing. He didn't see a ton of playing time in 2022 but fans have little to worry about with Lou Anarumo still around running the show on defense.