The Cincinnati Bengals have actually spent money on their defense so far this offseason, bringing in Trey Hendrickson, Larry Ogunjobi, Mike Hilton and Chidobe Awuzie. One cap casualty won't be with the Bengals in 2021 however in veteran defensive tackle Geno Atkins.
Approaching his age-33 season, Cincy saves $9.5 million in cap by releasing Atkins. Here are three destinations that make the most sense for the veteran in free agency.
3. Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers got a lot younger on defense in 2020, but now they could use some veteran experience around that youth to help mentor them in their development. Atkins is expected to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, so he would be the perfect piece to put beside 2020 first rounder Derrick Brown. The latter could learn a lot from a player like Atkins, and the move would also help the Panthers defense in the short term. Carolina only had an 8.6 quarterback hurry percentage in 2020, as well as a run defense ranked in the bottom half of the NFL (20th), which Atkins could immediately improve.
2. Dallas Cowboys
So long as the price tag is manageable, the Dallas Cowboys could still use some help at defensive tackle. There have been rumors that they may bring back defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, but Atkins would be a more reliable option. McCoy missed the entire 2020 season with a quad tear, and the Cowboys have made efforts to get bigger up front since Mike McCarthy joined as head coach last offseason. This transition makes sense for Dallas.
1. Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns could also go after Akiem Hicks, but they need someone to come in and replace the aforementioned Ogunjobi. In an odd circle of life type of occurrence, the Browns could sign the man that Ogunjobi replaced. Cleveland is more all-in than Cincinnati right now, so the veteran makes more sense for the Browns. Alongside Sheldon Richardson and Myles Garrett, the team would flaunt a pretty serious defensive line if they added Atkins, something that could help them in a Super Bowl run.
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Michael Obermuller is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Michael Obermuller also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username king_mizzard. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.