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Bengals Looking to Bolster D-Line, Plenty of Veteran Options Remain

Cincinnati could add any number of defensive linemen in free agency

CINCINNATI — The Bengals are looking to bolster their defensive line. From making a run at Sheldon Rankins to bringing in veteran defensive end Ryan Kerrigan for a visit—they clearly feel like they need to upgrade their defensive line. 

Rankins ultimately signed with the Jets and Kerrigan left town without a deal. It's unclear why things broke down, but it doesn't look like the former Purdue Boilermaker is going to reunite with defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo. 

The Bengals also expressed interest in free agent defensive tackle Jarran Reed, who agreed to a one-year deal with the Chiefs on Sunday night. 

Cincinnati is clearly on the hunt for defensive line help, even after signing Trey Hendrickson and Larry Ogunjobi in free agency. 

The good news is there are plenty of veteran options available. 

Justin Houston, Melvin Ingram and Aldon Smith are still on the market. That trio has gone to eight Pro Bowls combined. All three would bolster the Bengals' pass rush. 

Ingram might be the most intriguing option. He's coming off of an injury plagued year for the Chargers. He only appeared in seven games and didn't have a sack for the first time in his career in 2020. 

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Prior to last season, Ingram had at least seven sacks in each of the past five years. He visited the Chiefs last week, but a deal didn't get done. He may have to go elsewhere after Kansas City signed Reed. 

Cincinnati should go after the former first round pick. Ingram had 43 sacks from 2015-19 and was a Pro Bowler in 2019. He may not be peaking, but there's reason to believe he has plenty of gas left in the tank. 

The Bengals should be able to land one of Houston, Ingram or Smith in free agency, assuming they want to add another edge rusher before the draft. 

Trent Murphy is another guy that the Bengals could target. He primarily played on the left side in Buffalo, which would fit in with Hendrickson expected to play on the right side like he did with the Saints. He's a value option that may be open to a low-cost one-two year deal. 

They could also address the interior of their line with a veteran. 

Jurrell Casey, Kawaan Short and Daquan Jones are three players to watch. 

Abry Jones is another name to know. He worked with Bengals defensive line coach Marion Hobby in Jacksonville. 

Veterans like Mike Daniels and Margus Hunt are still on the market. The Bengals may consider bringing them back after their respective performances in 2020. 

Cincinnati clearly wants to add another piece or two on defense. There are plenty of veteran options that could give them a boost in the trenches. 

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