The Bengals are in another offseason of chaos after the just mind-numbing loss to the rival Steelers in the AFC Wild Card game after it appeared they had the game win in the final minutes.
Sure linebacker Vontaze Burfict came out this week and told ESPN all the right things about the hit at the end of the game that basically cost the team, but it’s too little, too late.
“Like I told coach [Marvin Lewis], I wish I could take that play back because I probably would’ve hit him low,” Burfict said in his first public comments about the incident.
He’ll miss the first three games due to suspension, and now the team also has to look at what’s coming up this offseason as they get ready for what they hope will be another run at Super Bowl LI in early 2017.
As of the time of writing, team currently is 16/1 to win the Super Bowl according to William Hill – the best of all betting sites. While it’s not bad odds, some think the team is headed for a fall due to the free agents the team has and the massive emotional toll the team has taken after playoff loss after playoff loss.
The team has the 8th amount of cap space right now, but also has 15 free agents, 14 of which are unrestricted, that will hit the market in early March. Eight of the free agents were regular starters or played the majority of snaps, meaning if those players leave, they have a lot of work to do.
“We’ve had more free agents in other years,” head coach Marvin Lewis said. “When I looked, it wasn’t as many as I expected, so I do feel good about things. I think the core is here, I think positionally we’re in good shape.”
Starting slot receiver Mohamed Sanu and receiver Marvin Jones are both free agents, meaning if both bail the team will need to make up for it.
One report has the team eyeing Bears free agent to be wide out Alshon Jeffery as a target of the Bengals, which is a huge free agent splash, but is that the player they need?
No matter what the Bengals do, it will be a critical offseason for sure as the team looks to make another run at the AFC North and yet another run at reaching the Super Bowl.