The Bengals’ have completely transformed their roster this offseason.
They signed eight free agents, including six projected starters. Transforming a 2-14 teams takes a lot of work and it doesn’t happen overnight. Despite significant upgrades on defense, there are still major question marks on the roster.
Most fans expected the organization to shore up its’ offensive line for the rookie signal-caller, but the draft didn’t break their way.
They didn’t take an offensive lineman until the sixth round. Hakeem Adeniji is a versatile and experienced player out of Kansas, but he isn’t projected to make an impact as a rookie.
"I just think that’s kind of how it [the draft] fell," offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said. "We had players that we liked graded higher than some of the linemen on the board at the time we picked. Sometimes that’s just how the draft unfolds. You’re trying to take the best players you can find, your highest graded players and that’s kind of what we’ve done through this process."
The Bengals have attacked their needs all offseason. They shouldn't stop being aggressive. They shouldn't wait to see who wins a training camp battle between Adeniji, Fred Johnson and Bobby Hart.
Instead, the Bengals should go after a proven tackle like Jason Peters. He's looking for a team after spending the past 11 seasons in Philadelphia.
The nine-time Pro Bowler turned 38 in January, but is still getting it done in the trenches.
Peters has been one of the best tackles in the league according to Pro Football Focus. He's posted an 82.6 overall grade since 2017, which is 12th among offensive tackles.
He allowed 21 pressures on 562 pass-blocking attempts last season. He's a better pass blocker than he is a run blocker at this stage of his career, but he would still be an upgrade for the Bengals, especially since protecting Burrow should be priority number one.
Peters has made it clear that he's willing to mentor a young tackle, which means he could help Jonah Williams become a quality player.
The Bengals spent their 2019 first round pick on Williams. He missed all of last season with a shoulder injury. He's expected to start at left tackle this season. The Bengals could ask Peters to move to right tackle, which is something he'd probably consider at this stage of his career.
The two-time All-Pro has dealt with some injuries over the past two years, but he's still played in 29 of a possible 32 regular season games.
The Bengals didn't shore up their offensive line during the first wave of free agency or the draft.
They should offer Peters a one or a two-year deal worth between $6-8 million per season.
Andrew Whitworth signed with the Rams in 2017 and not only helped them turn around their culture, but was also a key cog in their Super Bowl run.
Peters may be older, but he's still playing at a high level, is a willing mentor and could have a Whitworth-like impact on a young team.
The Bengals have made plenty of roster upgrades this offseason, but they can't be satisfied. They should sign Peters and shore up the offensive line so Burrow can flourish this season.