The free-agency period has been good one way or another for every NFL team. Hence, it’s time to take a look at the positives in our newest series for End Zone Score. Which newcomer to the club was the franchise’s best offseason move and why? We got things started with the 2016 last-place teams in the eight divisions. You can get caught up on the entire series by clicking right here. We are currently looking at the clubs that finished third. And that means the Cincinnati Bengals are in the spotlight.

LB Kevin Minter

This offseason, the team watched a number of notable players either leave via free agency or were given their walking papers. Marvin Lewis’ club lost left tackle Andrew Whitworth and right guard Kevin Zeitler to the Los Angeles Rams and Cleveland Browns, respectively. And defensive tackle Domata Peko left for the Denver Broncos. On the other hand, veteran Rey Maualuga was cut loose by the team. It’s also worth noting that Karlos Dansby (Arizona Cardinals) and Trevor Roach (retired) moved on as well. The former led Cincinnati in tackles in 2016.

Hence the addition of Kevin Minter was basically an essential move when it comes to the linebacking corps. Yes, the team still has Vontaze Burfict (when available) and consistent mike man Vincent Rey. And second-year pros Marquis Flowers and Nick Vigil are still in the mix in terms of the outside spots. But Minter brings a lot more experience to this group. He finished third on the Cardinals with 81 tackles this past season. He also added 3.5 sacks and a pair of passes defensed.

Keep in mind that the Cincinnati Bengals slumped to 21st in the league against the run this past season. Minter hopes to help in this regard in a big way.

Russell S. Baxter is the NFL lead columnist for EndZoneScore.com and the founder of ProFootballGuru.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BaxFootballGuru.

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