In recent years, the Cincinnati Bengals have addressed the defensive front in free agency. In 2022, the offensive line was the main priority.
It’s been an interesting 11-year stretch for the NFL team from the Queen City. The Cincinnati Bengals reached the playoffs five consecutive years from 2011-15. Of course, the club failed to win a postseason game during any of that stretch.
Then came a five-year playoff drought from 2016-2020 as the team managed a dismal combined 25-53-2 record. In his second season as head coach, Zac Taylor looked to end a stretch of three straight last-place finishes in 2021.
Then came last season’s revival. Thanks to second-year quarterback Joe Burrow, rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase and a much-improved defensive front, Cincinnati won the AFC North with a 10-7 record.
After a win over the visiting Raiders in the wild-card round (the franchise’s first playoff win since 1990), the Bengals went to Tennessee and Kansas City and came away with the first-ever road postseason wins in the club’s history.
The magical season ended with a tough 23-20 loss to the Rams in Super Bowl LVI. Taylor’s team came up short due mainly to one significant shortcoming. Hence the Bengals’ top offseason pickups.
Cincinnati Bengals top offseason pickup no. 3: G Alex Cappa (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
He is not necessarily a household name. And in four NFL seasons, he has not earned neither Pro Bowl nor All-Pro honors. But Alex Cappa was an effective performer the past two seasons for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
As a rookie in 2018, the third-round draft choice from Humboldt State played in 16 games. A year later, he made 13 starts. During the Bucs’ Super Bowl season of 2020, he started all 16 regular-season contests and the wild card round at Washington but was lost for the club’s final three postseason games.
Including playoffs, Cappa started 19 games this past season. And it may surprise to some that he is the 18th-ranked guard in the league via Pro Football Focus (subscription required).