Bengals listed as best fit for top-5 free agent

The Cincinnati Bengals have March 13 circled in red on the calendar this year, as that’s when they’ll have a crack at adding outside free agents when the market opens.

One of those, Baltimore Ravens star defensive lineman Justin Madubuike, is ranked as the fourth-best upcoming free agent by ESPN’s Matt Bowen, who writes that his “best fit” is Cincinnati:

Look for the Ravens to make a strong play to retain Madubuike, who had a career-high 13 sacks in 2023. But I also like him in Cincinnati for a defense that needs to add more speed and playmaking ability to its front seven. The Bengals allowed a league-worst 6.0 yards per play last season. Madubuike has the foot quickness and first-step juice to leverage blockers and make an impact on the pocket.

Rest assured, those Bengals would love to have a talent like Madubuike on the line, especially considering how he’s wrecked the Cincinnati offense multiple times per year in recent memory.

The Bengals certainly need help up front, with pass-rush being a major problem last year and DJ Reader’s serious injury before his own trip to free agency only complicating matters.

While the Bengals don’t necessarily project to spend the massive cash required to lure in a top-five free agent like suggested here, they haven’t been shy about spending big in recent years on outside names, either.

When it comes to Madubuike, both team and player could certainly do much worse on the open market.

Story originally appeared on Bengals Wire