3 Bengals free agents who likely won’t be back next season

Eli Apple, Cincinnati. Bengals. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)
Eli Apple, Cincinnati. Bengals. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images) /
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C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals
C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals. (Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Cincinnati Bengals will lose a few free agents this offseason after reaching the Super Bowl.

As it is with every championship-caliber team, other franchises will want a piece of what made the 2021 Cincinnati Bengals so special.

This team might have arrived a year early, but their future is incredibly bright with Joe Burrow at quarterback. Will they be back in the Super Bowl in short order? We will see, as every year is different, but the climb up the mountain remains the same. Of course, several key players of last year’s team will be testing free agency. Who could be looking for a pay day elsewhere this winter?

Here are three impending Bengals free agents who may not be back with the team next season.

Cincinnati Bengals: 3 free agents who may not be back with the team in 2022

Cincinnati Bengals. C.J. Uzomah. 3. player. Pick Analysis. 56. Scouting Report. TE

C.J. Uzomah is a beloved tight end, but someone else will pay a premium for him

Tight end C.J. Uzomah has spent his entire professional career in the Queen City. The former fifth-round pick out of Auburn is coming off his best season with career highs in catches (49), receiving yards (493) and touchdowns (five). He was a big part of the Bengals’ versatile passing attack, but he just turned 29 years old and could be looking to make bank one last time in his NFL career.

No matter how unfair it is, his injury-derailed 2020 season will be held against him in the negotiation process. He may have played in 16 games for the Bengals this past season, but he is not getting any younger. More importantly, the Bengals have better and far younger receiving options on the team already. This team has also done a great job of finding talent in the draft.

That is why the Bengals are not likely to pay out the wazoo for Uzomah. They may have been big spenders in free agency last year, but that was to acquire top-flight talent off other teams’ rosters to undergo a massive overhaul. Though Uzomah could return, some other team out there in need of a go-to tight end will pay a premium to get him. Simply put, the Bengals will be outbid for him.

Burrow may request for Uzomah to come back, but this is the key offensive piece that will leave.