CINCINNATI – The Bengals addressed a bunch of needs in the 2022 NFL Draft, but this is the NFL: teams are always looking for additional ways to improve their roster.

With nearly $18 million in cap space, the Bengals can continue to add to their roster through free agency. At this point, any additions should be more about competition rather than finding difference-makers, but, the good news is there are still several players who are capable of coming in and making an impact in 2022.

Center J.C. Tretter

The Bengals drafted guard Cordell Volson in the fourth round of the draft, which adds depth to the guard position. But, the starting spot opposite free agent addition Alex Cappa is still in flux.

Jackson Carman is in the mix for the starting gig, but the jury is still out on him. Signing Tretter allows Ted Karras to move into the mix at guard, where Karras has had success in the NFL.

All of a sudden, the Bengals offensive line is officially set, has depth, and is one of the best front fives in the NFL.

WR Julio Jones

Jones’ most likely landing point at this time in his career is with a competitor. He can’t be relied on to carry a passing attack, anymore. However, he can still carve out an effective role on a team, e.g. red-zone threat, third down target, etc.. The Bengals obviously have three starting receivers, so Jones in a reduced/specific role would be a huge addition to the offense.

Jones will likely be semi-cheap for a player with this reputation, especially if he goes to a competitor like the Bengals. The longer the Bengals wait, the healthier Jones becomes, which is also a good development. His price tag may slightly go up because of that, but teams aren’t going to overpay for him, anymore, which should render the situation moot.

TE Eric Ebron

Ebron is only 29 and is one of the most athletically gifted tight ends in the NFL. The Bengals didn’t add to the tight end position in the draft. They did sign UDFA Justin Rigg, but he shouldn’t keep the Bengals from continuing to bolster the position.

The former Lion and Steeler would come in and not only add depth, but he could possibly compete with Hayden Hurst for the starting gig. At worst, he gives the Bengals an extremely athletic target over the middle that could really give defenses trouble.

LB/S Landon Collins

The Bengals have a ton of youth and some solid players at linebacker, but they still need someone who works well in coverage at the second level of the defense.

Logan Wilson and Germaine Pratt are a solid due, but adding a player like Collins would really help the Bengals’ subpackages on defense. Collins was converted to linebacker in Washington and played fairly well as the team’s “Buffalo Nickel”.

He’ll be affordable, as well, which is something teams are always looking for in free agents at this time of year.

TE Blake Jarwin

Jarwin will likely start the year on the PUP list after he underwent offseason hip surgery. The Bengals could certainly roll the dice, here, and get a player who could in around midseason and contribute.

It would be worth the calculated risk. The former Cowboy was once of thought of as the follow-up to Jason Witten after two straight years with 35+ catches, 300+ yards, and 3 touchdowns in each season. Dallas believed this so much it gave him a four-year contract worth $22 million in 2020. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out.

He turns 28 in July and won’t come at a large cost. The Bengals can work him in as depth and who knows, maybe Jarwin can regain his 2018-2019 form and become a late season/postseason contributor.

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