March Madness fever apparently hit the front office in Bengals last weekend. They followed one of the busiest book signing days in franchise history with a quiet Saturday and Sunday.
Tuesday picked up speed again with two one-year signings. Left guard Quinton Spain and cornerback Eli Apple both have a chance to start their careers. Security Ricardo Allen was not far behind a day later with another one-year contract.
Here are the scores for Cincinnati’s latest additions to the free agency.
Quinton Spain, LG, class: B.
The Bengals signed Spain in the middle of last season to improve their offensive line. The veteran bet on himself that off-season, signing a $ 1.1 million one-year deal. His cap hit is only $ 987,500. The Bengals have struck a bargain if the former Bill’s lineman can get back to his 2019 form. The 29-year-old Spain left West Virginia in 2015 and played with the Titans for four years before spending a brief stint in Buffalo.
Position impact: Spain have a legitimate chance to start at a sentry post on Frank Pollack’s offensive line. His main competition is currently Xavier Su’a-Filo and Michael Jordan. As a starter, Spain has the best track record of the trio. Since 2013, he has shown durability in 13 or more games per season. Spain’s best season was 2019 when he played 1,007 snaps and earned 39 total points. According to Sports Info Solutions, this total number of points was fourth among all offensive linemen.
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The West Virginia product was the weird man who went down after Bill’s offensive line arrows last off-season and got his 2020 season going. Spain have the talent and track record of regaining their old form under Pollack’s guidance.
Statistics to know: Spain hasn’t made a false start since week 13 of the 2018 season when the Titans beat the Jets 26-22.
Eli Apple, CB, Class: C-
The former top ten player is trying to get his career going again. Cincinnati is Apple’s fourth team, entering its sixth season after stints with the Giants, Saints and Panthers. Carolina was his shortest and most recent stay. He only played two games before being injured from a hamstring injury.
Position impact: Desperation can get the most out of some players. Apple faces this pressure in 2021. He has the ability to silence critics in the area where he built his soccer skills in the state of Ohio. Apple is fighting for fourth cornerback place with Darius Phillips.
With all the changes in the league, 2020 was a losing season, but Apple has never reached the height its draft slot should warrant. He achieved his best performance in 2018 when he allowed a completion rate of 48.3%, three touchdowns and a pass rating of 74.4 on 118 goals. These numbers rose in 2019 to a graduation rate of 63.2% and a passers-by rating of 100.9. At 25, Apple is another low-risk, medium-level reward for the Bengals.
Statistics to know: Apple did not allow a touchdown during a five-game stretch with the Giants in 2018. The current Bengali defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo was his defensive back coach.
Ricardo Allen, S, class: B-
The 29-year-old was a respected player in the Falcons locker room. Allen was the team’s nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award in 2019 and was captain four times in six seasons. The Veteran offers constant availability with four seasons with more than 15 games played.
Position impact: This move rounds off the strongest position group on the Bengals list. Secondary school had depth problems all of 2020 and now they are equipped with options.
Everyone plays security, but can line up in multiple places in an anarumo defense that requires versatile defenders. Everyone had a knack for getting their hands on the ball. Since 2018 he has defended five interceptions and 16 passes. The 2019 season was arguably Allen’s most complete season, saving 30 total points in 16 games. According to Sports Info Solutions, this number ranked 17th among all safety precautions.
Allen takes over as third security behind Jessie Bates III and Vonn Bell.
Statistics to know: Allen has played over 600 defensive snaps in five of his six NFL seasons and is a member of the 2010-19 Falcons All Decade Team.
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