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Approval Poll: Bengals release former first-round pick Dre Kirkpatrickby NathanBeighle on March 31, 2020 at 2:45 pm
Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images Do you approve of the Bengals moving on from Kirkpatrick? After much speculation, Dre Kirkpatrick’s future with the Cincinnati Bengals has now been revealed. Kirkpatrick has been released by the Bengals after spending eight years with the team. After also releasing B.W. Webb earlier this offseason, the Bengals secondary will look far different in 2020. They will look to supplement the two cornerbacks with a duo of former Minnesota Vikings defensive backs. The team brought in Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander to strengthen their secondary. They also had interest in cornerback Kevin Johnson, who eventually signed with the Browns. As for Kirkpatrick, he was one of the Bengals’ first-round picks back in 2012. Remember when they also drafted Kevin Zeitler shortly afterwards? Drafted with the 17th overall selection, the former Alabama cornerback had easily the best seasons of his career from 2015-2017, helping justify his eight-figure salary. Kirkpatrick totaled 302 tackles during his eight-year tenure, 70 of which came during the 2015 season. Set to take on an $11 million cap hit for keeping Kirkpatrick, the Bengals now are looking at around $2.8 million in dead cap according to Spotrac. That said, this move was expected earlier this offseason. With Darqueze Dennard *seemingly* set to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars and both Webb and Kirkpatrick off the team, William Jackson III is one of the only remaining cornerbacks from last year’s team. He’ll create a formidable trio with Waynes and Alexander. Add in Jessie Bates III and newly signed Vonn Bell, and this secondary should be drastically improved in 2020. After a highly active and somewhat surprising free agency period, the Bengals still have the NFL Draft where the fireworks will really take place. Joe Burrow the final piece to this puzzle, a puzzle that could end with a playoff appearance in 2020. That said, are you a fan of the releasing of eight-year veteran Dre Kirkpatrick?
Bengals releasing Dre Kirkpatrick, per reportby John Sheeran on March 31, 2020 at 2:07 pm
Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images The Bengals are adding much needed cap space by releasing one of their most experienced veterans. After eight years, the Cincinnati Bengals are cutting ties with another one of their former first-round picks. The Bengals are releasing cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, per Tyler Dragon of The Cincinnati Enquirer. The #Bengals are releasing CB Dre Kirkpatrick, per sources.— Tyler Dragon (@TheTylerDragon) March 31, 2020 Kirkpatrick took to Instagram to say farewell to fans and his teammates. #Bengals CB Dre Kirkpatrick said goodbye to teammates on Instagram, and the team has informed him of his release. A quality starting CB on the market. pic.twitter.com/x3E0XPyXXu— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 31, 2020 Kirkpatrick only played one season under head coach Zac Taylor, but here’s what Taylor had to say about his release: Statement from #Bengals head coach Zac Taylor on Dre Kirkpatrick: pic.twitter.com/5dO5LnqqB1— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonATH) March 31, 2020 While it didn’t exactly look like an inevitability as of late, releasing Kirkpatrick is a smart move for the Bengals to make. Not only did they go out and sign three new cornerbacks in free agency, they’ve spent what appears to be all of their salary cap space as well. Not only is Kirkpatrick’s starting gig now in the hands of Trae Waynes, the Bengals were actually in need of cap space, which could never be said until now. Plain and simple: unless Kirkpatrick was willing to take a sizable pay cut, which would’ve been difficult to do with the way his contract was set up, he was set to make a lot of money to be a rotational player. This move grants the Bengals with approximately $8.3 million in cap space after they eat $2.8 million in dead money. Kirkpatrick was the Bengals 17th overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, which was one of the picks they received via the Carson Palmer trade. After spending three years on the bench and in the rehab room with injuries, Kirkpatrick became a starter for the first time in 2015 and then had the best full season of his career in 2016, when he earned a coverage grade of 71 from Pro Football Focus. That season came at the right time as Kirkpatrick secured a five-year, $52 million contract from the Bengals in the 2017 offseason. After that, the Bengals saw a consistently average player who never seemed to build off of that contract year he had. Missed tackles and a lack of ball skills constantly plagued Kirkpatrick’s game, but his recovery speed and toughness made him effective enough to be a starter. Those are the qualities he’ll bring to his next team, wherever they may be. This is truly an offseason of change for the Bengals, and Kirkpatrick is the next domino to fall. Will Andy Dalton follow? Perhaps we’ll find out soon enough.
Bengals held pre-draft meeting with DT Justin Madubuikeby John Sheeran on March 31, 2020 at 1:30 pm
Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images The former Texas A&M pass rusher should be off the board somewhere in the first 64 picks. Could the Bengals be interested? The addition of D.J. Reader to the Cincinnati Bengals’ defensive line may not be the only one the team makes this offseason. The Bengals recently had a pre-draft meeting over FaceTime with defensive tackle Justin Madubuike, per Justin Melo of The Draft Wire. Texas A&M DT Justin Madubuike was able to get in a top 30 visit w/ the #Titans prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.He's also held pre-draft meetings with the #Saints, #Vikings & #Bengals over FaceTime recently.— Justin M (@JustinM_NFL) March 30, 2020 Since no team can host players in person right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, FaceTime calls are the alternative teams are using to talk to players. Obviously, private workouts are also off the table here, so the call becomes even more important. Madubuike is worth at least chatting with. Even though the Bengals are pretty much set at defensive tackle for 2020, the former Texas A&M pass rusher posted 11 sacks and 24.5 tackles for loss during his three-year career with the Aggies. He then tested extremely well at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine; running a 4.83 40-yard dash and a 7.37 three-cone at 6-2 and 293 pounds. Those are the numbers of an effective pass-rusher in the NFL. There’s a good chance the Bengals are on the clock to start the third round and Madubuike is the best player available. If they truly want to help out Geno Atkins, inserting Madubuike into the rotation as his backup and future replacement could be an avenue they explore. He may not be a linebacker or an offensive lineman, but his presence can have plenty of value for Cincinnati.
Bengals News (3/31): Looking toward second roundby PatrickJudis on March 31, 2020 at 1:00 pm
The Bengals and Joe Burrow marriage seems inevitable, but who will the Bengals add to start off the second round? Bengals.com Media Mock Draft Reacts To Free AgencyWelcome to the April 23-25, 2020 Draft and its preparation in the coronavirus era. Since this year's first Bengals.com Media Mock Draft five weeks ago (doesn't it seem like five years ago?), the only thing that hasn't changed is the bulk of players projected to be selected by the time the Bengals make the No. 33 selection at the top of the second round. Todd McShay 2020 NFL Mock Draft: Burrow, Tua Headline Top 5 After Free Agency"Burrow has incredible accuracy, maneuvers in the pocket with skill and battles all game long," McShay wrote. "The Bengals need a franchise quarterback to truly fire up their rebuild, and Burrow has all the makings of a future star in the NFL." 2020 NFL Mock Draft: Cincinnati Bengals get their quarterbackHi, they call me “Mr. Grant” or at least at the bank, sometimes. Apparently I look like Jake Gyllenhaal as I have heard them whisper ‘Broke’ & ‘Back’ of the line as well. Originally, hail from S. Jersey “Go Eagles”. But, enough about me as I have been hired to right this ship in Cincy. Ranking 8 Cincinnati Bengals options in second round of 2020 NFL draftThe real suspense for the Bengals begins at the top of the second round, pick No. 33 overall. That’s where a number of players could be in play for the team and we’re going to dive into and rank some of those players here. Cincinnati Bengals Supplement FA Additions in 7 Round Mock DraftThe Cincinnati Bengals had a disappointing season in 2019, to say the least. After parting ways with longtime head coach Marvin Lewis, the team had a new coach at the helm in Zac Taylor and enthusiasm was higher than it had been in years. Bengals impress Joe Burrow, NFL power rankings, draft update and moreIn January, former LSU star quarterback Joe Burrow said he wanted to play for a pro team committed to winning. Burrow, the Heisman Trophy winner and national champion who threw for more than 6,000 yards and 60 touchdowns with the Tigers in 2019, sent a message to the team with the No. 1 overall pick. Cincinnati Bengals: Andy Dalton could be waiting for awhileInstead, April is upon us. The national sports scene is in upheaval, and Dalton is still part of the Bengals. For how long remains a mystery. What IS certain, is Joe Burrow being the first overall selection in Cincinnati, and Dalton still likely somewhere, anywhere, on the opening day of the 2020 NFL season. Around the League Phillip Lindsay 'going to battle' Melvin Gordon for job"I've heard this stuff my whole entire life. And it's never ever panned out how everybody has wanted it to pan out. Until someone proves me wrong, I'm going to continue to do what I do.'' Martinez: Packers don't value ILBs as much as Giants"It was 50/50 of a surprise and not a surprise," Martinez said when asked if he was startled the Pack didn't want him back, via the Giants' official team website. "I think the way they value the inside linebacker position especially in that defense, it wasn't as valued as other places I guess in my opinion. Overall, it was one of the things where they offered me, and we were just in different wavelengths on where I valued myself and where they valued it. At the end of the day, it was one of the decisions that had to be made on both sides. It's a business and right now I am extremely happy where I am and can't wait to start playing for the Giants and finally get into the facility." Tua Tagovailoa 'fully cleared and ready to compete'"I am extremely pleased," Cain told Edholm. "If you told me four, almost five, months ago now that he'd be where he is now, I think I would have been very happy. I think he's done extremely well for where he started out." 50-plus prospects likely to participate in draft virtuallyNFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported the league has begun inviting top prospects to participate virtually for next month's three-day event, which is scheduled to be televised but no longer include public events in Las Vegas because of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 50 players are expected to be digitally present via video and social media, Pelissero added. Players and their families are also expected to receive a "draft package."
Bengals buff up offensive line in latest mock draftby John Sheeran on March 31, 2020 at 10:00 am
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images Joe Burrow is given much needed help up front in this 3-round mock draft. A hyperactive free agency period from the Cincinnati Bengals was not only exciting, but refreshing to watch as well. Several needs for the team have been filled for at least the 2020 season, but there are still major question marks regarding their roster as we inch closer to the NFL Draft. On area Cincinnati didn’t focus a lot of effort in improving this month was the offensive line. Xavier Su’a-Filo was signed for what’s essentially a one-year deal and he’s not much of an upgrade over John Miller, who was their starter at right guard from last year. Su’a-Filo is projected to start at that spot, much like Bobby Hart is expected to compete with Fred Johnson for the right tackle job, but what if the Bengals found two upgrades at those positions immediately after selecting Joe Burrow with the first pick? Joe Marino of The Draft Network decided that’s the route the Bengals should pursue in his latest mock draft: 1. Joe Burrow, QB, LSU While the right side of the offensive line is still shaky, the Bengals were uncharacteristically active in free agency adding the likes of D.J. Reader, Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander and Vonn Bell to their defense. With those reinforcements, the Bengals appear mostly ready for the Joe Burrow era to begin. 33. Josh Jones, OT, Houston 65. Robert Hunt, IOL, Louisiana If you go through every position and tally off which players are supposed to go in the first round, you’ll probably end up with more than 32 players in total. Jones is a projected top-25 pick at offensive tackle, but it’s entirely conceivable that he slips through the cracks ends up as a high pick in the second round. The Bengals would give him one of the best chances to start immediately, though it would be a transition since he’s never played anywhere else besides left tackle. Jones has the natural footwork and hand usage to make it work; he showed as much in the later portion of his final season at Houston and at the Senior Bowl. Jones has the body to succeed at guard early in his career as well, but adding Hunt a round later would ideally keep Jones outside. Hunt is this year’s prime example of a college tackle sliding inside and dominating at guard. He has immense natural strength and distributes power in a clean and fluid manner. He’s everything Jim Turner should want to compete with Su’a-Filo. The plain truth is that the Bengals aren’t likely to fill every one of their remaining needs in this draft unless they acquire more picks via trading down, perhaps multiple times. Snagging good players is never a bad objective, even if it means linebacker and wide receiver aren’t addressed before the third day of the draft. Protecting Burrow should be the primary goal anyways, and this plan fulfills that goal very nicely.