We continue the 5-part series with a look at possible free agent signings from the Cincinnati Bengals thru the Green Bay Packers.
Preston Brown (26 yrs old), ILB
Preston Brown played his college ball at Louisville and was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2014 draft by the Bengals. Brown started 7 of 7 games before getting injured and being placed on injured reserved. Preston played on 39 percent of the team’s defensive snaps in 2018 but played 99 percent of team defensive snaps previous two years. Brown has potential to be a 100+ tackle and a reliable general in the middle of the field. The Redskins could get him at a “Bargain Basement Bruce” discount coming off an injury.
Tyrod Taylor (30 yrs old), QB
Tyrod Taylor played his college ball at Virginia Tech and was drafted in the 6th round of the 2011 draft by the Baltimore Ravens. Taylor started 3 games for the Browns in 2018 before getting injured and benched for Baker Mayfield. While Taylor commanded a $10+ million contract in 2018, it is likely that he could come cheaper as he is getting older. Taylor would come into camp and could compete for the starting job with Colt McCoy and whomever the Redskins drafted.
Darian Thompson (25 yrs old), FS
Darian Thompson played his college ball at Boise State and was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2016 draft by the New York Giants. His last full season played was with the Giants in 2017. Thompson was a final roster cut by the Giants in 2018, then landed with the Cardinals and placed on their practice squad in October. The Cowboys signed Darian to the active roster, cut, the re-signed in November. In 2017, he started all 16 games where he played 97 percent of defensive snaps and tallied 75 tackles with one interception. Thompson would be a depth add with the opportunity to be a spot starter.
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Billy Turner (27 yrs old), G
Compared to Steelers Guard Ramon Foster. Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2014 draft by the Miami Dolphins. Started 11 of 16 games he played in and accruing 76.7% of offensive snaps. In 2016, Turner was unceremoniously released by the Dolphins after giving up 3 sacks to the Tennessee Titans. Turner was eventually picked up off waivers by the Broncos. Turner would be a cheaper upgrade at a much-needed position hole.
Eli Harold (25 yrs old), OLB
Eli Harold played his college ball at University of Virginia and was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2015 draft by the San Francisco 49ers. In August 2018, Harold was traded to the Detroit Lions for a 2020 conditional draft pick. While Harold has not put up big numbers, he has been available for most of his team’s games and was a starter for the 49ers. With the Lions in 2018, Harold played in 13 of 14 available games and totaled four sacks. Eli would add depth and could vie for starting time in an area that could need young healthy bodies.
Green Bay Packers
Jake Ryan (26 yrs old), ILB
Jake Ryan played his college ball at Michigan and was drafted in the 4th round of the 2015 draft. Ryan has seen an increase of playing time as he entered each new NFL year. In 2017, Ryan started in 12 of 15 games played and tallied 81 tackles and 2 forced fumbles. However, in 2018, Jake had to be carted off before the start of the season due to an ACL injury. With the injury being early enough in the football calendar, there is the likelihood he can be ready for the beginning of the 2019 season. With how many questions there currently are surrounding the Inside Linebacker position, Ryan could be a low risk high reward signing.