Bengals Priority in Free Agency – Protect QB Andy Dalton

As the Bengals prepare to enter the free agent market — albeit two days later than most other teams — the goal should be simple. Cincinnati needs to do all it can to protect quarterback Andy Dalton.

Dalton, the 2011 second-round pick threw for 3,398 yards and 20 touchdowns in a Pro Bowl campaign. Putting the pieces in place around Dalton to prevent a sophomore slump should be Priority No. 1 for the Bengals in the coming weeks.

Gone, or at least free to walk, are running back Cedric Benson, receivers Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell and both of Dalton’s starting guards Nate Livings and Bobbie Williams.

While resigning any of the aforementioned players is an option, this is the time to dream about what could be. Here’s a glance at some interesting names the Bengals could pursue on the offensive side of the ball:

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