All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore is a free agent, and the Bengals decision to not re-sign him could be playing out in their favor. The 27 year old has started 79 games while totaling 10 interceptions since joining Buffalo as an undrafted rookie in 2012. Cincinnati’s defense may have lost some of its luster without Gilmore on the field.

Stephon Gilmore is a defensive player for the Buffalo Bills. He has been with the team since 2013, and he signed a 5-year contract worth $47 million in 2015. If the Bengals were to trade for him, they would be getting an All-Pro player who could help them win another Super Bowl run. Read more in detail here: stephon gilmore trade.

All-Pro Stephon Gilmore Could Be Missing Piece to Another Bengals Super Bowl Run

The Cincinnati Bengals had a fantastic season in 2021. Zac Taylor’s team finished with a 10-7 record and made an unlikely playoff run to Super Bowl 56. Although few anticipated the club to be successful, Cincinnati will not be taken by surprise in 2022. The Bengals should be looking at a quality player who is still searching for a deal – Stephon Gilmore — if they want to compete again.

Gilmore played with the Carolina Panthers for the most of the 2021 season, however he is currently an unrestricted free agent. The 31-year-old cornerback would undoubtedly like to play for a contender. The current AFC champions suit the description well and might be a great match for Gilmore.

Stephon Gilmore is one of the most talented players remaining on the market.

Panthers cornerback Stephon Gilmore is a prime free agency target for the Bengals

Panthers cornerback Stephon Gilmore is a prime free agency target for the Bengals Carolina Panthers’ Stephon Gilmore catches a pass against the Buffalo Bills before the game | Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

Many people thought Stephon Gilmore was the greatest cornerback in the NFL at one point.

The South Carolina native spent the first five years of his career with the Buffalo Bills before moving on to the New England Patriots for the following five years. Early in the 2021 season, New England traded Gilmore to the Carolina Panthers in return for a 2023 sixth-round selection pick.

In 2020, the five-time Pro Bowler sustained a quadriceps injury that knocked him behind. He did, though, show that he still has the skills to be a top cornerback in this league.

In 132 games over 10 seasons, Gilmore has 427 tackles, 116 pass defenses, 27 interceptions, and six forced fumbles.

Gilmore had a 77.1 rating from Pro Football Focus for the 2021 season. Throughout the year, he only allowed 15 catches.

The Cincinnati Bengals need to improve their secondary and should pursue Stephon Gilmore aggressively.

Why the Bengals should be interested in signing the All-Pro cornerback

The #Raiders are still considered the favorites to sign cornerback Stephon Gilmore, per source, and have a strong offer on the table. But, there are still other teams in play, including the #Bengals. A decision should come soon.

— Evan Massey (@massey_evan) March 19, 2022

In 2021, the Bengals shocked a lot of people. While the offense and Joe Burrow grabbed the stage, the defense quietly improved from year to year.

The team led by defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo ended as the NFL’s 17th-best defense. Stopping the run was Cincinnati’s forte. The Bengals were seventh in the league in this category, allowing just 102.4 running yards per game and 15 touchdowns.

When it came to pass defense, Cincinnati didn’t have nearly as much success. Opposing offenses averaged 248.3 passing yards per game against the defense (seventh-worst). In addition, the team surrendered 26 points via the air.

Stephon Gilmore is one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. Given his track record, he should be able to jump straight in and make an immediate difference. Eli Apple was re-signed by Cincinnati, although he is often beaten by receivers. Gilmore, on the other hand, would take over as the No. 1 cornerback, sharing the field with Mike Hilton and Chidobe Awuzie.

In 2022, Cincinnati has the components in place to return to the Super Bowl.

In free agency, the Bengals signed offensive linemen La’el Collins, Ted Karras, and Alex Cappa to help protect quarterback Joe Burrow. https://t.co/gZHx5SotVu

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 20, 2022

For the first time since 2015, the Bengals won the AFC North. They weren’t a flawless squad throughout the regular season, but they turned it on down the stretch and made it to the Super Bowl.

In 2022, Zac Taylor’s team is expected to be even better. Joe Burrow is in command, and he brings back the majority of his primary weapons from last season. One of the most dangerous skill position groupings in the NFL is Ja’Marr Chase, Joe Mixon, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd.

The offensive line was the main flaw in Cincinnati’s attack. During the offseason, the front staff did a good job of addressing the problem. Alex Cappa, Ted Karras, and La’el Collins have already signed with the Bengals. This offensive may be taken to the next level if Burrow is kept upright.

Cincinnati’s defense still has some flaws. Adding a player of Stephon Gilmore’s level, on the other hand, would go a long way toward making the squad more balanced.

It’s all hands on deck for the Bengals as the AFC looks deeper than it has in a long time.

Pro Football Reference provided all stats.

Bengals fans document free agent La’el Collins’ visit to a Cincinnati mall in the video below.

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