Instant analysis after Bengals sign S Nick Scott in free agency
In the wake of losing Jessie Bates and Vonn Bell in free agency, it was obvious the Cincinnati Bengals would rework the safety room.
The Cincinnati front office got started on this Thursday night with reports revealing the team had signed former Los Angeles Rams safety Nick Scott. There was a delay of roughly 24 hours after the initial report, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter says it’s a three-year deal worth $12 million.
Scott, who turns 28 in May, had visited the team Thursday and all involved must’ve liked what they saw. The Penn State product was a seventh-round pick by the Rams in 2019 who went from seeing just 15 snaps as a rookie to 984 (97 percent) last season.
Over the course of that work in a contract year, Scott piled up 86 tackles and two interceptions over 16 starts. PFF graded him at a 54.2 overall with rough marks in coverage, but the Bengals are sure to like his elite athleticism and versatility.
The signing is a little reminiscent of Bell a few years ago. Scott is a lesser-known player seeking a second contract who could come in and exceed expectations, especially if he fits well in Lou Anarumo’s scheme.
Scott’s task is harder than Bell’s, though — he’ll likely start next to first-rounder Dax Hill, who will take over Bates’ old spot as a sophomore.
Also of note is the Bengals hosting Scott’s teammate, Taylor Rapp, on a visit in the near future too. Maybe that changes with Scott agreeing to terms, but it’s not impossible to see the Bengals adding both Rams safeties alongside Hill to really bolster the depth of the secondary.
No matter what happens with Rapp, adding Scott is a plus-signing for a team that needs veteran help. His superb athleticism and good processing should enable Anarumo to keep things complex and the likely low cost of the move should mean other options — including rookies — remain viable choices at a later date.
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