It is no secret that the Cincinnati Bengals need to address the offensive line at some point this offseason. Many fans are hoping the team doesn’t wait until the draft to fill those holes, and one player that could help quell fans’ desire for starting a riot could be to go after recently released center Rodney Hudson.
The former-Chief and Las Vegas Raiders lineman was inexplicably cut by the team that just gave him an extension last season after having another reliable season in 2020. The veteran center will be 32-years-old by the start of 2021, but he hasn’t seemed to slow down yet, and he has continually been the anchor of talented offensive lines during his 10 seasons.
The age and position may have some fans wondering why the Bengals would be interested. Trey Hopkins has been reliable at center since being moved inside after all, but his return from an ACL suffered at the end of the season has his return up in the air. Also Hopkins has plenty of experience at guard, so he could be kicked out a spot to make room for Hudson.
Teams who could use Rodney Hudson:
Also: the Raiders
— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) March 16, 2021
It is also looking like the Bengals will be offensive line heavy in the draft this season. That means having an experienced player like Hudson in the middle making calls could be extremely helpful. Not to mention off the field being able to help explain from a players’ point of view what the protections and run blocking schemes should look like to a group that may have to gel on the go with hopefully plenty of new faces. That stability in the middle could be invaluable in protecting Joe Burrow next season.
The one thing that hurts Cincinnati’s chances is they will likely have stiff competition for Hudson. His first stop may be to his former team, Kansas City to play for a contender. There are also teams like the Cardinals who have a major need at center and are also closer to the west coast. The only way the Bengals have a chance is if they overpay a little bit, which doesn’t seem like something they’ve been willing to do so far this free agency period. That is the price for being a rebuilding team, though.
I don’t say this lightly: Rodney Hudson is in the conversation for the most reliable offensive lineman in the league.
He’s an absolute anchor in the middle of the line and still playing great ball at the age of 32.
Every team that needs a center should call him right away.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 16, 2021
Hopefully, Cincinnati is able to land the veteran who may be one of the better offensive lineman in 2021. He may not be a long-term solution, but Hudson has a few good years left in him. He could go a long way in improving this offense.