The Cincinnati Bengals won seven of their last eight games in the 2012 season and locked their second consecutive playoff berth with a win over the Steelers on the road. However, for the second year in a row they were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round by the Houston Texans. While the foundation of the team remains strong heading into the 2013 season, some gaps can be filled in free agency and the draft.
Last offseason, the Bengals filled holes in the offensive line in the draft as well as free agency, and they also signed a defensive end and cornerback. The biggest free agency acquisition they made was Terence Newman, who was reunited with defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, as he started every game of the season and looked like the Newman of old.
The Bengals used the franchise tag for defensive end Michael Johnson, after he recorded a career-best 11.5 sacks in the final year of his rookie contract. Tagging Johnson means right tackle Andre Smith is free to seek out a hefty deal in free agency. Cincinnati will need to find a replacement.
This offseason the Bengals will likely focus on keeping their own talented players from leaving as they have several free agents of their own to bring back. They also have four selections in the first three rounds of the upcoming draft thanks to their trade of Carson Palmer to the Raiders. The "to-do" list for the Bengals is pretty long, but it's not as long as most other teams.
Cincinnati Bengals team needs: Linebackers, safety needed for 2013
SB Nation | Mar 7