As absurd and premature as it may sound, this article is going to talk about the Bengals Super Bowl odds and why they may not be as bad as any rational person would expect them to be. A key part of the expected Bengals resurgence are some player personnel decisions that should, at the very least, make the Bengals competitive in the 2020-2021 NFL Season. Let’s get to why those +15000 (150 to 1) playoff odds might not be as bad as one can imagine.
While first year coach Zac Taylor’s first season in Cincinnati did not go quite as one would’ve hoped, it’s hard to blame him. Andy Dalton’s status as the team’s franchise quarterback as well as, and more importantly, his absurd long term contract, was not Coach Taylor’s fault. Additionally, the offensive line was utterly hopeless but not quite as bad as the defense. The defense allowed 393.69 Yards per game from opposing offenses (29th in the league) and this all happening while the offense attempted to run the clock wherever it could to count for an offensive line that allowed no protection.
Bengals Roster Changes
They’ve made some non-splashy roster moves in recent weeks such as they re-signed TE Cethan Carter (RFA-Cin.), signed HB Jacques Patrick (of XFL fame for those who followed the brief but lovely few weeks of its exsitence) as well as even less interesting changes such as Re-signing cornerback Torry McTyer (UFA-Cin.). Outside of 2 tackles, McTyler remarkably failed to record a single stat.
However there’s other, far more interesting news to note. After not trading their injured star Receiver, the Bengals designated longtime franchise standout WR A.J. Green as their franchise player. This is where having a rookie quarterback can be extremely rewarding financially, as the market value for a player of Joe Burrow’s stature would be several times the amount he is due.
How Much Is Joe Burrow Making?
According to Spotrac, Joe Burrow will be signing a four-year contract with the Bengals worth a projected $36.2 million. This contract will include a fully guaranteed $23.9 million signing bonus, which will be fully guaranteed. That is the good news for Burrow (the fully guaranteed contract) as well as the fact that it’s only four years and the career of a successful quarterback is much longer than say, a running back.
More on that shortly, but if Burrow is every bit the quarterback that everyone thinks he may well be (newsday’s Bob Glauber said Burrow “might be the best and cleanest quarterback prospect since the Colts made Andrew Luck the first overall pick in 2012, then the Bengals are getting an absolute bargain for the next half decade.
Finally: Reasons for Optimism in Bengals Surprise Super Bowl Run
The problem with the Bengals is not one of skill, it’s one of depth. Yes, Burrow had Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson while at LSU but they are not in the same league as the (when healthy) UGA star A.J. Green. Combined with speedster John Ross III and usually sure handed Tyler Boyd, the Bengals have the making of a solid receiver core.
The only problem, offensively, is repairing one of the worst offensive lines in recent NFL history. Running back Joe Mixon has been the unfortunate collateral damage in the tank job that was the 2019-2020 season that saw the Bengals make little to no effort to repair an offensive line devastated by injuries. That said, history has shown that the mid-rounds are a great time to build out serviceable starters on both sides of the line.
As far as defense goes…this section was suppose to be about reasons for optimism.