Bengals surface on list of free agency fits for Saquon Barkley

Whether the Cincinnati Bengals make a change at running back this offseason is one of the big conversations around the team ahead of free agency.

It’s only a growing conversation, too, because of the timing of a Joe Mixon contract bonus right around the time free agency starts.

And that open market features some massive names, including Saquon Barkley.

USA Today’s Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz lists the Bengals as one team that ranks as a smart destination for the star running back:

Fun hypothetical to consider, though it only becomes plausible if the Bengals cut Joe Mixon. Even then, that move would seem to be a precursor to the team curbing its spending at the position rather than revving it up. If Cincinnati is only certain to have Tee Higgins for one more season, though, might it be worth some significant push to make the plodding running game more dynamic? His addition, however implausible, would be quite the way to welcome Joe Burrow back from the torn wrist ligament that prematurely ended his 2023 season.

Normally, a top-two pick like Barkely might not be in the conversation for the Bengals. But this is the running back position, so it’s impossible to tell what the market will actually pay the top guys — and if those top guys might take cheaper short-term deals for a chance to contend.

That’s not to say Barkely will do any such thing. But there’s no point in ruling anything out right now when it comes to running backs, so the Bengals have to make lists like this given their back-friendly offense.

Barkley would be a good fit, to say the least, though the Bengals indeed might want to save money at the spot and shift it to more premium positions.

Story originally appeared on Bengals Wire