Dalton Schultz, C.J. Gardner-Johnson still make sense for Bengals in free agency
Two notable potential free-agency targets remain on the board for the Cincinnati Bengals as the first week of the open market nears an end.
One is Philadelphia Eagles safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson, a guy Bengals fans really, really want the team to sign.
In the wake of losing Vonn Bell and Jessie Bates the Bengals signed Nick Scott. But CJG is a 25-year-old safety with versatility who picked off six passes last year.
The other is tight end Dalton Schultz of the Dallas Cowboys, who topped our list of available free agents to help the team replace Hayden Hurst. He’s 27 and does a little bit of everything, including contributing as a weapon and blocker.
There’s one notable thing connecting these two free agents besides need — the potential value.
If CJG is still on the market, it suggests he’s not getting the traction expected. That could put him in Bengals territory as far as a one-year prove-it deal on a contender. On the field, he’s not going to replace the likes of Mike Hilton often, but he could still be a fun chess piece for Lou Anarumo’s safety-heavy sets and overall depth.
Same story for Schultz. The fact he’s still there while guys like Hurst and even Mike Gesicki have found deals (and half of his deal was only incentives) suggest a slow market. Playing with Joe Burrow has now gotten C.J. Uzomah and Hurst better-than-expected deals, so Schultz too might be in that one-year prove-it deal range. He’d potentially be an upgrade over Hurst and provide a nice one-two punch with a likely rookie draft pick.
So while the Bengals could easily fall back now and just retain a few names like Eli Apple, these two names — at the right price — still make a ton of sense.
More Latest News!
Bengals made 'aggressive play' to keep Samaje Perine in free agency
Watch: Highlight reel for new Bengals safety Nick Scott
Nick Scott adds to Bengals' super-athletic safety depth chart