NFL free agency grades: How did each team do?

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D.J. Reader, Houston Texans
D.J. Reader, Houston Texans. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals decided to come out of their shell this offseason, making more big moves than usual. Their usual, of course, is a number closely rounded to “zero,” but they paid a price for their inactivity last offseason en route to being one of the NFL’s most embarrassing teams.

Now the rebuild begins, and the Bengals, for a team in their position, didn’t make as many quality additions as they should have. Cincinnati mostly focused on adding offensive linemen and defensive backs, replacing Darqueze Dennard with the overrated Trae Waynes and the underrated Mackensie Alexander, who has breakout potential.

Their biggest signing was former Houston Texans defensive lineman D.J. Reader, and they added another former Texan in offensive lineman Xavier Su’a-Filo. He most recently played for the Dallas Cowboys and projects as a cheap upgrade on the released John Miller.

Reader and Alexander are signings worth praising, but the Bengals entire offseason hinges on them nailing their picks in this year’s draft. To be fair, this was always going to be the case, so at least the Bengals, like their AFC North counterparts, avoided making any risky or expensive signings. And in an ideal world, they’ll be able to fetch a draft pick for quarterback Andy Dalton, who has no future with the team (or, really, as a starter in this league).

Grade: D