Should Bengals chase prove-it deal free agents like Jadeveon Clowney?

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Chris Roling
·2 min read
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The decrease in salary cap space and unknown state of affairs money-wise over the long-term could force some major free agents into one-year, prove-it deals this offseason.

And that could benefit the Cincinnati Bengals.

Think about a name like Jadeveon Clowney. The first pick in 2014 lingered on the market until early September last year before signing with the Titans on a prove-it deal.

He proceeded to play in just eight games, registering zero sacks and proving little. Now 28, Clowney has consistently had problems staying healthy and he doesn’t put up the mega-pressure numbers that help an edge defender like himself earn that massive contract.

Which isn’t to say Clowney has been bad at creating pressure — just average. He’s elite in other areas such as run defense — there’s a reason he still had a 74.9 Pro Football Focus grade last season and 87.3 the year before that despite just three sacks.

It should go without saying, but Clowney would be an upgrade for the Bengals defense and he’d have a role in Lou Anarumo’s multiple front. If he’s settling for a one-year deal worth $13 million again, why not see if he’d come to town, right?

Overall though, this is just one of many examples we could do when it comes to the open market this year. Most seemingly expect teams to be reserved with spending big dollars, forcing players into shorter commitments before the salary cap rises again in later years. The Bengals need to worry about getting Carl Lawson and William Jackson back under contract too, but browsing for Clowney-types during an odd market should be on the table too.

List

Recently released players Bengals could pursue in free agency