The Cincinnati Bengals don’t have a lot of major needs as the franchise prepares for the start of free agency. Cincinnati will be a top Super Bowl contender regardless of what moves they make this offseason.
While the roster is in a good spot, there are a still couple of areas they’ll need to address.
One of those areas is at cornerback. Eli Apple is set to be a free agent next week and it seems likely that he’ll play for a new team in 2023.
Tre Flowers is also set to be a free agent. His departure would certainly hurt the Bengals’ depth at cornerback.
Chidobe Awuzie suffered a torn ACL in Week 8 so it’s unclear what his status will be for the start of the 2023 season (or how effective he’ll be post-injury).
The Bengals have Cam Taylor-Britt, who played extremely well as a rookie, but they could still stand to add a cornerback through free agency.
CBS Sports recently suggested that Cincinnati should sign San Francisco 49ers cornerback Emmanuel Moseley.
Moseley is an underrated player who has developed into a solid NFL cornerback. The former two-star recruit from Greensboro, NC was never expected to reach the NFL. But after a standout career in college at Tennessee, he’s made a name for himself as a starting NFL cornerback.
The only problem with this potential signing is that Moseley is also coming back from a torn ACL (he suffered his torn ACL in Week five this past season, so he should be slightly ahead of Awuzie in his recovery).
From CBS Sports: The Bengals are going to have to address cornerback with Eli Apple hitting free agency. Cam Taylor-Britt had a promising rookie season and could be in line to start next to Chidobe Awuzie, but why not bring in some veteran competition for one of the cornerback jobs? Moseley is coming off a torn ACL, yet he’s an excellent cover corner. He allowed a 43.6 passer rating in his five starts last season, with no touchdown passes allowed. Just 26, Moseley has allowed only one touchdown over the past two seasons with a passer rating of 63.2. Moseley would be an excellent find in free agency, which the Bengals could use since they have to pay Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase in the coming months.
I like the fit and I think he could be a bargain for Cincinnati Bengals. But there will be questions about his knee, which is more than fair.
Spotrac lists Moseley’s market value at $16.6 million annually. That would place him among the top 10 highest-paid cornerbacks in the NFL.
There’s no way the Bengals should consider that type of deal. I also think there’s a zero percent chance Moseley receives that deal in free agency — especially coming off the ACL injury (Spotrac has Tre Flowers valued at a little over $11 million a year, so maybe their contract algorithm is doing its best McDonald’s ice cream machine impression and is simply broke).
Something like a two-year deal worth $12 million to $14 million total seems reasonable for Moseley. If the Bengals can work out a deal in that range, they should go for it.
Quality cornerbacks who won’t break the bank are tough to find. Moseley could be one of the best signings of the offseason — even with the ACL injury. It’s a risk worth taking at the right price.