Yannick Ngakoue listed as best Bengals fit in free agency
The Cincinnati Bengals figure to target pass-rushing help this offseason in either free agency or the draft.
Despite nearly making the Super Bowl again, there were stretches where the pass-rush needed help, especially while Trey Hendrickson battled through a broken wrist.
ESPN’s Matt Bowen has proposed a solution — by listing Yannick Ngakoue’s best team fit in free agency as the Bengals while ranking him the 32nd overall player headed to the market:
“Ngakoue led the Colts with 9.5 sacks last season, and he has totaled 65 over eight NFL seasons. There will be a market for Ngakoue, but finding the right team fit and situation is tough, given that he will be targeted as a sub-package player. The Bengals feature a defense that produced only 30 sacks in 2022 (29th in the NFL), and a short-term deal makes sense, allowing them to slot Ngakoue as their nickel pass-rusher. He shows good burst and an ability to bend around offensive tackles.”
It’s not a terrible idea, either. Ngakoue has played with four different teams over the last three seasons, tallying eight or more sacks each year.
As the writeup notes, Ngakoue might have a bit of a quiet market as teams don’t want to pay him or play him as an every-down pass-rusher. That could be an amazing thing for the Bengals to have in a rotation with Hendrickson, Joseph Ossai and Sam Hubbard.
Besides fit, it comes down to price. The Bengals have already admitted they’ll be looking at guys similar to Hayden Hurst on the hunt for something like one-year deals on contenders to prove themselves. If Ngakoue has that type of market, he’d be a no-brainer of a signing.
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