Despite being one of the most sought-after free agents this offseason, former Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi is still on the free-agent market. At the beginning of the offseason, Ogunjobi agreed to a three-year $40.5 million with the Chicago Bears. However after Ogunjobi failed a physical with the team, the offer was pulled off the table. A few weeks ago he visited the New York Jets but left without a deal. Based on how he performed last season Ogunjobi should absolutely be a contributor to an NFL roster next season. Here are the potential landing spots for Larry Ogunjobi.
The Cincinnati Bengals signed Larry Ogunjobi to a one-year $6.2 million prove-it deal last offseason. He played extremely well last season. Ogunjobi had a career-high seven sacks for Cincinnati. He played a crucial part in the Bengals’ defense guiding the team to the Super Bowl last season.
Prior to signing with Cincinnati last season, Ogunjobi spent the previous four seasons in Cleveland. He established himself as one of the better pass-rushing defensive tackles in the league. Over the past four seasons, Ogunjobi has had 20.5 sacks.
At this point why wouldn’t the Cincinnati Bengals bring back Larry Ogunjobi for another year? He was an excellent piece of their defense a season ago. Ogunjobi was third on the team in sacks behind Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard. One more productive year in Cincinnati could be enough to earn the large contract he was close to earning this offseason.
Cincinnati may have drafted Ogunjobi’s replacement in Flordia defensive tackle Zachary Carter in the third round of this past draft. However, he likely will not be able to replace Ogunjobi early in his career. The Bengals are looking to compete again this year. Bringing Ogunjobi back to rotate with D.J. Reader and B.J. Hill will put the team in a better position to possibly return to the Super Bowl again this season.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs have done a great job revamping their defense this offseason. Some of the notable additions Kansas City has made on that side of the ball include Justin Reid, Trent McDuffie, and George Karlaftis. The biggest weakness on this defense and possibly on this roster is the defensive tackle position.
Chris Jones has been a Pro Bowl and All-Pro caliber player for the past few years. However, the Chiefs lack depth or a great running mate to go with Jones on the interior of their defensive line. Derrick Nnadi is projected to start next to Chris Jones in the middle of Kansas City’s defensive line. He had a career-high three sacks this past season. But, the Chiefs could bring in another veteran to upgrade the defensive tackle room.
Adding Larry Ogunjobi to this defensive line to rotate and compete with Derrick Nnadi could help this defensive line immensely. Pairing an extremely capable pass-rushing defensive tackle like Ogunjobi with Chris Jones would be awesome for both of their sack production. Ogunjobi could take some of the pressure off of Jones who receives double teams from interior offensive linemen regularly. Opposing offenses wouldn’t be able to focus solely on Jones because Ogunjobi is also capable of getting after quarterbacks. That pressure generated on the interior of the defensive line could help George Karlaftis and Frank Clark on the edges.
New Orleans Saints
After the NFL Draft, many NFL teams have made impactful signings to improve their roster. The New Orleans Saints have been clear winners of the post-NFL Draft part of the offseason. Shortly after the NFL Draft, the Saints signed Pro Bowl safety Tyrann Mathieu to a three-year $28.3 million deal. Then New Orleans wasn’t done because they signed former Pro Bowl receiver Jarvis Landry to a one-year deal as well. The Saints could continue to plug up the few holes on their roster with the available free agents.
Over the past few seasons, the New Orleans Saints defensive tackle rooms have become one of the weakest units on the roster. Sheldon Rankins and Malcolm Brown left the team last offseason and weren’t replaced. Former undrafted free agent Shy Tuttle started next to David Onyemata last season.
Last season the Saints struggled to rush the passer from the interior of their defensive line. David Onyemata was the only defensive tackle to have a sack on the roster. Onyemata had two sacks in 11 games. Bringing in Ogunjobi would not only give New Orleans a huge upgrade in the defensive tackle group, but a pass-rushing presence this team has lacked on the interior since Rankins left.
A defensive line consisting of Cameron Jordan, Marcus Davenport, David Onyemata, Larry Ogunjobi, and 2021 first-round pick Payton Turner could keep opposing offensive coordinators up at night. This addition could be the final piece this team needs to be legitimate contenders next season.
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