With free agency set to begin March 11, BengalsGab’s part-time blogger (he knows not to quit his day job) Florida Bengal is counting down his top 10 targets the Bengals could realistically acquire and should look at once free agency officially opens up.
Like No. 7, Ted Ginn, our No. 6 player on this countdown is an Ohio native hitting the free agent market this season. Unlike Ginn, Rodger Saffold could have a huge market with teams vying for his services.
An imposing figure on the offensive line, Saffold has experience playing both tackle spots and some guard at the NFL level. I’d rather see Anthony Collins return, but if he does leave for big money, Saffold would be an excellent project for Paul Alexander.
While the Rams have been known for getting quarterback Sam Bradford pounded, Saffold has shown great ability. In fact, Pro Football Focus ranks Saffold as the No. 6 offensive tackle in this year’s free agent class but he’s the youngest of the top 10.
The early rumors are that Oakland and Tampa Bay are highly interested in the versatile lineman, but Cincinnati can offer him both a closer-to-home place to play and a much better recent track record (with greater potential for immediate success after four tough years with the Rams).
The team can also offer him playing time at left tackle, where the 25-year-old would like to play. Having versatile starting-quality players is never a bad thing and Saffold would join Andrew Whitworth on the left side to give Cincinnati great flexibility and skill on that side of the line. The right side seems pretty well set with Kevin Zeitler and Andre Smith and Saffold would put the team 80 percent of the way to the best line Cincannati has had since 2005.