In the midst of a busy free agency cycle, rumors surrounding the Cincinnati Bengals indicate more changes coming on offense. The team’s biggest splash on that side of the ball so far is the addition of tackle Riley Reiff. With Joe Burrow at the helm, the team needs to prioritize building a winning culture while his contract is cheap. Now, with rumors of more offensive change coming, it seems like the Bengals are attempting to maximize that window.
Rumors Surrounding Cincinnati Bengals Offense Could Change Picture in 2021
After a flurry of moves on the defensive side of the ball, the Bengals are starting to make some offensive ripples. Though there’s not a transaction yet, a few new whispers about their impending plans provide insight towards their next move. The first major piece of news surrounds the potential movement of Giovani Bernard. While Bernard is a franchise fixture, the team is attempting to rework his contract to save money. Still, the Bengals may move the rusher if they can’t come to an agreement according to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network.
Multiple teams have called to inquire about #Bengals RB Giovani Bernard, per source. Barring a restructured contract, Bernard — one of the NFL’s top receiving backs and still only 29 — could be headed elsewhere.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 25, 2021
The movement of Bernard would mean they lose an excellent pass protector, but the economics provide logic. According to Spotrac, the Bengals are spending $15.9 million on running backs, which is second in the league. Bernard’s contract, a roughly $4.1 cap figure, is set to expire after the season. At 30-years-old and eight seasons into his career, the clock is running out on Bernard. Moving on would help the team get back to the middle-of-the-pack in running back spending. The team is also preparing to get Joe Mixon back into his normal running load. Samaje Perine to a two-year, $3.3 million agreement this off-season as well. Seemingly, Bernard could be the odd-man-out in the mix and wind up in a trade before the season. Keep an eye on the Carolina Panthers in these Bernard trade rumors with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Joe Burrow Looking for a Reunion With a Key College Teammate
There’s another rumor emerging in another facet of the team’s offensive attack. According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, Joe Burrow is campaigning for a reunion with LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase. As things stand, the Cincinnati Bengals own the fifth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. While some might beg for offensive line help, they could be in a prime position to take Chase. After all, the appeal of a receiving core featuring Chase, Tyler Boyd, and Tee Higgins is quite tantalizing. In an off-season built around Burrow’s future, giving him his desired weapon could keep him happy going forward.
Over the next few months, the Bengals have the opportunity to continue renovating their roster. The prioritization of Burrow’s health and happiness should come first. If they’re able to accomplish that, they’ll set themselves up with a nice window for success. If they fail, the next set of rumors surrounding the Cincinnati Bengals could involve an unhappy young quarterback. The next moves for the team set the way for more big changes.
Embed from Getty Images