Report: Bengals still want Carl Lawson back, Trey Hendrickson mentioned as fallback plan

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Chris Roling
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A few hours into free agency’s legal-tampering window, the Cincinnati Bengals have remained mostly quiet.

That includes on the Carl Lawson front as the market sees several major names land mega deals. Names like Shaq Barrett and Romeo Okwara are already off the market, meaning Lawson could be next.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, though, reported the Bengals still have an interest in bringing back Lawson — plus mentioned a possible fallback name:

“It does sound like they still have an interest in retaining Lawson. If not him, there are some other options on the market. That includes Trey Hendrickson from the New Orleans Saints, guy who is still only 26 years old, had a breakout season in 2020. He’s more of a 4-3 traditional type of end…”

At this point, it might make more sense for the Bengals to bring back Lawson, a guy they’re familiar with and like. Hendrickson had an elite year with 13.5 sacks, but there’s reason for concern it was an anomaly.

Still, that would mean paying up huge cash for Lawson, as the market has dictated that the premium edge rushers will predictably make in the $15 million-per-year range.

If the Bengals want Lawson back, it’s safe to say they’re running out of time in a hurry.

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Cincinnati Bengals 2021 NFL free agency big board