Steelers: Bengals writer weighs in on what Cincy's offseason means for AFC North

Steelers, Orlando Brown
Steelers, Orlando Brown / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

Over the past two weeks, it's been difficult to keep up with all of the free-agent moves around the NFL. The Pittsburgh Steelers weren't the only team keeping busy. While Omar Khan added players like Patrick Peterson, Isaac Seumalo, Cole Holcomb, Nate Herbig, and Elandon Roberts, our rivals in the AFC North were trying to offset these moves with additions of their own.

With the rush of free agency dying down, I recently caught up with Stripe Hype Editor Leigh Oleszczak. In our Q&A session, Leigh broke down some of the biggest questions we all had about the Bengals' free agency period.

What were the biggest needs for the Bengals to address in free agency and have they checked off those boxes? 

Entering the offseason, Bengals fans wanted to see the team address the offensive line, safety, cornerback, tight end, pass rush, and potentially running back as well. The offensive line is checked off after the team signed Orlando Brown Jr. They lost their two starting safeties but we knew Dax Hill would be starting there anyway so after signing Nick Scott, that need is filled. 

As of sending this to you, cornerback has not been filled yet and neither has tight end. It wouldn't surprise me to see the team address those needs in the first two rounds of the draft. Pass rush has not been addressed and running back might be filled by Ezekiel Elliott... who knows. 

What remains the biggest frustration for the Bengals so far in free agency? 

Fans were mostly frustrated at how long it took the team to make a move. The Brown deal came through Wednesday night and that was after two days of the team losing most of their free agents. Some fans seem annoyed that the team didn't add another running back or tight end but if Elliott joins the team, that takes care of the running back situation and tight end can be addressed in the draft. 

What has been the biggest surprise for the Bengals in free agency, if anything? 

Signing Brown was a bombshell. No one expected the Bengals, an organization not known for signing huge free agents, to do just that. He makes their o-line better, that's for sure. 

How is the Bengals' cap situation looking after the first week of free agency? 

The Bengals are sitting pretty but this is coming before a Burrow extension and maybe even extensions for Tee Higgins and Logan Wilson as well. As of now, they're in the top 10 in cap space with just over $17 million

Is there a move the Steelers made this offseason that Bengals fans are worried about? 

Maybe not one individual move but a series of moves could worry Bengals fans. The Steelers clearly valued getting better on the o-line and if their lack of pass rush carries over from last season, Kenny Pickett might not get touched when the Steelers and Bengals play. 

Next. Steelers options to replace Terrell Edmunds. dark