On Tuesday, the New York Jets severed ties with one of their most notable defensive stoppers in Bart Scott. After four years with the Jets, Scott must now find a new home and I think the Cincinnati Bengals are a perfect suitor for the NFL All-Pro linebacker.
Scott can be a sideshow at times, but I think a step away from the New York spotlight would turn him back into the hard-nosed ILB that he was in previous years.
The Bengals have been dropped in consecutive seasons by the Houston Texans in the Wild Card Round and you know they’re looking for a player to get them over the hump. Surely Scott can’t do it on his own, but he can definitely contribute to a depleted linebacking core.
Cincy currently has one player under contract at the linebacker position in Vontaze Burfict, who played WLB in his rookie campaign last season and racked up 73 tackles. Burfict was originally drafted as an MLB, so I would definitely put him back in that position and move Scott into his natural position on the outside as well.
Scott spent seven seasons with the Baltimore Ravens and split once his defensive coordinator Rex Ryan got a job as the head coach for the Jets. Multiple years in this tough division will only help a young Bengals team that is just a few players away from an AFC North title yet again. Mike Zimmer was the defensive coordinator for the Bengals in Scott’s last season with the Ravens back in 2008 and still holds the same title.
At 32 years old, Scott’s best years are behind him. However, he can give the Bengals the veteran presence that they’ve so desperately missed in these past seasons.