CINCINNATI — Duke Tobin was all smiles on Monday morning. The Bengals Director of Player Personnel met with the media for the first time in 2021. He made it clear that the team planned on being aggressive this offseason.
"We are certainly not going to sit on our hands," Tobin said. "We will be prepared to jump in and see what we can get done. Hopefully we will be able to get the things done that we envision."
That vision could include spending big money in free agency for a second-straight offseason. The Bengals committed $130 million to seven unrestricted free agents last March. The organization believes doing something similar in 2021 could propel this team into playoff contention sooner rather than later.
Why are they so optimistic after finishing 6-25-1 over the past two seasons? Because they have Joe Burrow under center.
"We've got one of the premier, best young quarterbacks in the game, and we're going to do everything we can to build around him and give him the opportunity to really shine and show what he can do," Tobin said. "It's going to start with him."
The phrase "building around Burrow" has been a common theme on this website for months. Adding key pieces in free agency is vital to their potential success in 2021.
That starts in the trenches at offensive tackle and guard. Cincinnati has to add proven veterans in both areas. The Bengals haven't spent top money at guard in the past, but that may change this offseason.
“It is something we’ll look at," Tobin said when asked about investing more money at the guard position. "We’ll have new faces in there [the offensive line room]. We’ll have guys that have another year of development under their hat. Hopefully a healthier group that stays healthy. And when we get five guys playing together, hopefully they can play together a long time. It’s a group that we’re focused on, we’re always focused on it, but that group in particular will be an important group for us.”
Tobin appears to have the mindset that fans hoped the organization would have this offseason. Aggressiveness wins in sports—especially in today's NFL—and it's the only way the Bengals are going to get out of the AFC North cellar anytime soon.
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