Stephon Gilmore landing spot No. 3: Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals peaked at the right time and it showed. Their Cinderella story in 2021 took them all the way to Los Angeles for Super Bowl LVI, as they just fell short at the hands of the Rams.
Why not keep striking while the flame is hot? The Bengals defense really shined in the postseason, limiting Derek Carr (two turnovers, 41.3 QBR), Ryan Tannehill (three INTs, 10.6 QBR), and Patrick Mahomes (two INTs, 40.8 QBR, four sacks) en route to the Super Bowl.
Once the Bengals got there, Matthew Stafford did strike for three scores, but it was tough sledding for him in the second half, only until LA’s final game-winning drive.
A lot of the credit belongs to defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, who many have lauded for helping turnaround one of the NFL’s bottom-feeder programs.
Cincy stands out as a Gilmore landing spot for more than just being a hot team coming off a Super Bowl run. With five impending free agents at CB — Eli Apple, Vernon Hargreaves, Tre Flowers, Darius Phillips, and Jalen Davis — the Bengals could use some help by adding a veteran like Gilmore.
A vet presence like Gilmore’s could be tremendously valuable to a team that still has a young core. Adding a Super Bowl champion and former DPOY corner to a secondary that already has standouts like Jessie Bates, Mike Hilton, and Vonn Bell could be dangerous. Also, the emergence of former Cowboys CB Chidobe Awuzie could offset Gilmore from having to take on #1 receivers all game like in his heyday.
Even with Trae Waynes returning from injury too, why not take a flier on a proven commodity in Gilmore? Not to mention, Cincy is rolling in the deep, coming into the 2022 free agency period as one of only four teams currently with more than $50 million to spend.
Who Dey said these were the same ol’ Bungals? Not anymore.