Bengals Lose Both Starting Safeties At Start Of NFL Free Agency

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usatsi 17698025 1

A position of strength for the Bengals this past year may have just turned into a position of weakness on Monday. 

According to multiple reports this afternoon, the Cincinnati franchise appears to have lost both of its starting safeties from the 2022 season. 

Vonn Bell, a Bengal since 2020, reportedly agreed to a new contract with the Panthers today. Jessie Bates, a Cincinnati second-round draft pick in 2019, appears to be headed to the Falcons on a four-year deal. 

The33rdTeam’s Ari Meirov pointed out the losses to the Bengals secondary this afternoon. 

Bates was PFF’s 11th-best safety this past season, earning a grade of 76.8. He was ranked one spot behind three-time Pro Bowler Derwin James and two spots ahead of former All-Pro and Bears safety Eddie Jackson. The Wake Forest product set a new career-high in interceptions (4) in 2022. 

The Bengals other starting safety last season, Vonn Bell, also put forth a solid campaign. Like Bates, Bell set a new personal best with four interceptions in 2022 and helped anchor the Bengals defensive backfield. 

Cincinnati will certainly need to retool the back end of its secondary before the start of the regular season this fall. 

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Publish Date:2023-03-14 05:17:37

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