New details on Bengals wanting DJ Reader and Sheldon Rankins, interest in Arik Armstead

The Cincinnati Bengals would’ve liked to pair DJ Reader with new arrival Sheldon Rankins on the defensive line in 2024.

But as fans know, Reader went on to sign with the Detroit Lions in free agency, revealing that he was a little surprised with how things worked out with the Bengals.

Thanks to Geoff Hobson of linking up with the likes of director of pro scouting Steven Radicevic and senior personnel executive Trey Brown, we now have a little more information about how the market developed and another player the team liked:

But then it got hard for Radicevic and Trey Brown as they focused on re-signing nose tackle DJ Reader. The frustration grew with the escalating deals for the defensive tackles. They were talking to players like Reader and the just-released Arik Armstead, among others. Others didn’t have passing grades or weren’t locker-room fits.

One of the other reported players that presumably didn’t fit for one reason or another was Teair Tart. With Armstead, Jacksonville giving him $51 million over three years probably pushed the Bengals out of their comfort zone.

If nothing else, the interest in other guys shows the front office still views the area as a massive need, properly thinking of the schematic hole they now have at the nose.

Comments from the organization back this up, too.

“It was a good market for D-Tackles. I think a lot of teams saw what was coming in the draft and felt the need to spend there,” Radicevic said, per Hobson. “We were hopeful to try and keep DJ. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. I think Rankins is going to do a great job filling a different type of void.”

While many fans understandably focus on offensive tackle even after the addition of Trent Brown, the way the Bengals played the market and comments suggest that interior of the defensive line is right there as a priority as early as Round 1, too.

Story originally appeared on Bengals Wire