The Cincinnati Bengals will probably be in the market for a new tackle in the coming months, and impending free agent Jermaine Eluemunor sounds like he wants to join the squad. The 2023 season was one to forget for Cincinnati, as star quarterback Joe Burrow struggled to stay on the field. After signing his massive contract extension, the former first-overall pick suffered an injury during practice and had a rough start to the season. While he eventually regained his footing, he suffered yet another injury midway through the campaign, prematurely ending his year.
Thanks in part to this underwhelming campaign, some fans and analysts across the league are starting to forget just how good Burrow is when healthy. Jermaine Eluemunor is not one of those people, as the right tackle recently took to X (formerly Twitter) to defend the Bengals franchise quarterback.
Look y’all don’t take this the wrong way lol. For some reason I keep seeing burrow slander on my TL. People keep hating when honestly burrow and mahomes are the best QBs in the NFL. Also he completely turned that franchise around but I guess when you’re nice AF people forget… https://t.co/OusPNW9Xnp
— Jermaine Eluemunor (@TheMainShow_) February 6, 2024
Jermaine Eluemunor Defends Bengals’ Joe Burrow, Call Him Best QB In League
Jermaine Eluemunor clearly has plenty of respect for Joe Burrow, and the Bengals will probably need an offensive tackle. With Jonah Williams likely to depart in free agency, Cincinnati needs somebody capable of keeping Burrow upright so he can bring this team back on a deep postseason run.
Eluemunor could very well be the man for the job. After bouncing around early in his career, the former fifth-round pick has established himself as a quality starter over the past few seasons. While he’s not an All-Pro type of player, Jermaine Eluemunor can easily give Burrow enough time to connect with the loaded weapons on the Bengals offense.
Of course, the money has to be right. Cincinnati has $61.4 million in cap space, but they still need to pay Tee Higgins and leave a sizable chunk of change for Ja’Marr Chase. In a league where are not enough starting-caliber tackles to go around, there is a chance that another team outbids the Bengals for Jermaine Eluemunor.
Other Potential Team Fits
Kansas City Chiefs
Eluemunor might be a self-proclaimed Chiefs hater, but who would pass up the opportunity to play for Patrick Mahomes? Kansas City has arguably the best interior offensive line in football, but their tackle situation leaves a lot to be desired. Jawaan Taylor has not lived up to his massive contract, and Donovan Smith has not bounced back from his disappointing 2022. Taylor spent most of his career on the right side of the line, but Kansas City originally signed Taylor to play left tackle. Perhaps they could move one of the two to the blindside and form one of the best blocking units in football.
New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints need to win in 2024 if Dennis Allen wants to keep his job. For that to happen, they’ll need to improve the offensive line. This team is stuck with Derek Carr for at least one more season, and Carr can win games in the right environment. However, Carr is highly susceptible to pressure and needs a strong offensive line. With Ryan Ramczyk injured and Trevor Penning unreliable, Eluemunor makes perfect sense as a free agent signing. The Saints might not be as good as the Bengals, but Jermaine Eluemunor could still push for a playoff run with this roster.
2023 first-round pick Anton Harrison had a promising rookie season, but he can’t play both tackle positions. Cam Robinson was an active liability last year, and Jacksonville can save $17.2 million by parting ways with the veteran lineman. Jermaine Eluemunor will be a considerably cheaper option and can help keep Trevor Lawrence healthy for their battles against the AFC’s elite teams like the Bengals, Chiefs, and Bills.
New York Giants
The New York Giants have problems throughout the roster, but the biggest one is on the offensive line. Andrew Thomas is great, but it’s time for the team to cut their losses with Evan Neal. Daniel Jones will not survive another season with this terrible blocking, and Brian Daboll might not be back in 2025 if the team has another disappointing year. The Giants probably won’t be as competitive as the Bengals, but Jermaine Eluemunor might get more money in the Big Apple.
New York Jets
The 2023 New York Jets season effectively ended after four snaps. Aaron Rodgers should be back in 2024, but he’ll need a better offensive line if he wants to play a full 17-game season. The Jets have the pieces to be competitive, all they need is a quarterback. If Jermaine Eluemunor can help keep their quarterback upright, then there’s no reason the Jets can’t take down a team like the Bengals.
Main Photo: Jamie Sabau – USA Today Sports