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The Bengals Should Sign a Veteran Offensive Lineman Following Latest Injury in Trenches

Cincinnati should add another proven player in the trenches before training camp.

CINCINNATI — The Bengals have gotten positive injury updates over the past few months. 

Whether it be Joe Burrow, DJ, Reader or Trey Hopkins, their veterans are progressing nicely. 

Unfortunately, they didn't make it out of their offseason program unscathed. Second-year offensive lineman Hakeem Adeniji suffered a torn pectoral muscle and is out indefinitely

The 23-year-old wasn't a projected starter, but it's a reminder of how quick injuries can change things in the trenches. 

"Hakeem is a guy that obviously did well for us last year as a rookie and has a bright future and still has a bright future, but that's just a setback that we'll have to endure right now," Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said. "That'll be a several month issue. We'll see where it goes from there, but he had surgery last week and he won't be around for a while."

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The Bengals should absolutely be on the hunt for a veteran lineman. Not only because of Adeniji's injury, but to ensure they have enough depth in the trenches to keep Joe Burrow upright. 

"Those are things that we'll look at at a couple of different positions to see what we need to add for training camp," Taylor said. "Duke (Tobin) and his staff are always on the lookout for that and trying out players and putting guys on our radar. It's certainly something we will keep monitoring."

There are multiple free agent offensive lineman that could help at both tackle and/or guard. Cincinnati has over $18 million in cap space, which gives them plenty of room to sign Jessie Bates and Sam Hubbard to extensions, while also adding a key veteran to their roster before training camp.

Morgan Moses would make sense for a few reasons

He would bolster the Bengals' depth at a key position. Moses earned an 80.8 overall grade from Pro Football Focus in 2020. He was their sixth highest-graded right tackle last season.

He's made 96 consecutive starts dating back 2015, which says a lot about his durability and his ability to play through injuries.

Adding another prove lineman would give Cincinnati's offensive line a big boost.

Moses could slide in at right tackle and veteran Riley Reiff could kick inside to guard. That would give the Bengals three legitimate starting tackle options in Jonah Williams, Moses and Reiff.

Much like Moses, Rick Wagner was released earlier this offseason due to the Packers' salary cap issues. 

The 31-year-old made nine starts and appeared in all 16 games for the Packers last season. He was an high-end pass blocker according to Pro Football Focus, finishing with a 78.2 grade in pass protection and a 77 overall score. 

Wagner is a big reason why Green Bay was tied for second in the NFL in sacks allowed (21) in 2020. They allowed one sack or less in a league-best 13 games, which tied a Packers record. 

Wagner allowed one sack and one quarterback hit in 608 offensive snaps according to PFF. 

Signing him would not only bolster their depth, but it would give them a chance to move Reiff to guard if Jackson Carman struggled early in his career. 

Other free agent options include tackle Dennis Kelly, or interior linemen like Trai Turner, Nick Easton and Austin Reiter. 

The Bengals' offensive line was their biggest weakness in 2020. They have to continue to aggressively pursue upgrades when they're available. 

Adding Moses or Wagner would certainly be a step in the right direction. 

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