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Three Free Agent Guards That Bengals Should Consider Signing to Protect Joe Burrow

These veterans could help in the trenches!

CINCINNATI — Plenty of people are hoping the Bengals sign left guard Joe Thuney in free agency. The Super Bowl champion would be a huge upgrade in the trenches for Cincinnati. 

What about the right side? Should they address it in the draft or lean on one of their current roster? 

Here are three veterans that would fit well in Cincinnati and could be had at a reasonable price. 

Kevin Zeitler

This is a no-brainer. The Bengals should do what they can to bring back the man they drafted in the first-round (27th overall) in the 2012 NFL Draft. 

The Giants released him earlier this week, but that was about money. He's still an above average NFL guard. 

Zeitler only allowed two sacks last season and was on the field for 1,003 offensive snaps according to Pro Football Focus.

The 31-year-old has plenty to offer and will likely sign for somewhere in the $6-$8 million per year range. A two or three-year deal worth $7 million per season is realistic. In a perfect world, the Bengals would be able to sign him for a low cap number in 2021 so they can make as many upgrades as possible in free agency. 

Trai Turner

The Chargers released Turner on Friday. He struggled for most of the 2020 season, but that may have more to do with health than a decline in his play. He missed seven games due to knee and groin injuries. 

The 27-year-old may be looking for a short-term deal in hopes of showing he can still be an effective player so he can hit the market one more time in his prime. 

Turner is a five-time Pro Bowler. The Chargers saved $11 million against the cap when they released him. 

The Bengals have to take advantage of the cap casualties that are looking for work this offseason. Both Turner and Zeitler are significant upgrades from what Cincinnati has had at guard in recent seasons. 

Larry Warford 

Warford opted out of the 2020 season and is clearly a tier [or two] below Turner and Zeitler, but he's a great value option. 

He'll be 30-years-old in June and much like Turner, might be willing to take a one or two-year deal in hopes of testing the market again sooner rather than later. 

If the Bengals sign Thuney or another veteran left guard, then why not scoop up Warford on the cheap? There's a chance he could regain his Pro Bowl form. 

This is the ultimate value signing. It would be a low-risk, high reward move for the Bengals, who should be willing to roll the dice on a player like Warford. 

Cincinnati is expected to address multiple positions in free agency, but they desperately need to upgrade at guard. All three of these veterans should be on their radar. 


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