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Former NFL GM encourages Cincinnati Bengals to add Pro Bowl receiver

Cincinnati Bengals
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Much of the talk surrounding the Cincinnati Bengals this offseason centered on the future of Tee Higgins. The 25-year-old receiver with two 1,000-yard seasons to his name was assigned the franchise tag this offseason, valued at $21.8 million. But Higgins still hasn’t signed the offer, leading to speculation that the 6-foot-4 receiver might be traded.

Now that the NFL Draft is in the rearview mirror, odds are slim to none that the Bengals will part with their lanky playmaking receiver. But that doesn’t mean the Bengals are done making changes to their receiver depth chart.

As noted, now that the draft is over, teams are starting to comb through the top remaining NFL free agents, seeing if there are any roster needs that can be addressed with a quick veteran signing.

Related: 2025 NFL mock draft: Raiders land franchise QB, Patriots, Broncos add star talent

Former GM Randy Mueller suggests Cincinnati Bengals should sign Hunter Renfrow

Hunter Renfrow
Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Recently, former NFL GM Randy Mueller suggested there’s a well-known free agent who would fit in perfectly with Cincinnati. He specifically named former Pro Bowl receiver Hunter Renfrow, who hasn’t found a suitor since being released in March. Here’s Mueller’s take from The Athletic.

“Renfrow signed a two-year, $32 million extension after impressing in Jon Gruden’s offense in 2021, but he hasn’t been the same since, battling injuries and ineffectiveness before falling out of the rotation under Josh McDaniels. He played just 363 snaps and had 25 catches in 17 games last season and then was released. Perhaps that will make him more hungry to thrive for a team looking for a security blanket in 2024.

Renfrow is still a quality option in the slot, having shown very good quickness to separate from tight coverage and a feel for settling into zones and being available when QBs are forced to extend plays. He is only two seasons removed from a 103-catch season. I thought he might be a trade-deadline target last year, but the upheaval and timing of the front office/coaching changes with the Raiders scuttled any thought of moving him.

The Bengals lost Tyler Boyd, who was a fixture in the slot the past few years, and there aren’t other options with previous production like Renfrow. He could be a plug-and-play option.”

The Athletic’s Randy Mueller on Cincinnati Bengals/Hunter Renfrow

Mueller brings up some great points. While Renfrow once looked like he was on path for a Wes Welker-like career, maxing out at 1,038 receiving yards in 2021, he just hasn’t been able to produce at nearly the same levels since.

Yet, the Bengals don’t need Renfrow to turn back the clock; they just need him to be a reliable option from the slot, complementing the likes of Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. While he may not have 1,000-yard potential in Cincinnati, he can still help Joe Burrow move the chains.

Related: NFL QB Rankings 2024: From Patrick Mahomes to Gardner Minshew

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