How Did the Cincinnati Bengals Secure the Season's Steal with Geno Stone

Cincinnati Bengals make a game-changing defensive addition.

by Nouman Rasool
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How Did the Cincinnati Bengals Secure the Season's Steal with Geno Stone
© Greg Fiume/Getty Images

In a move that has flown somewhat under the radar, the Cincinnati Bengals have masterfully executed what many in NFL circles are heralding as the season's most astute acquisition. The enlistment of Geno Stone, the former safety for the Baltimore Ravens, might not have dominated the headlines with bombast, yet its repercussions for the Bengals' defense are predicted to be far-reaching and significant.

A Calculated Move for Geno Stone

The Bengals have a reputation for their deliberate and strategic approach to roster enhancement, consistently making insightful additions aimed at bolstering their squad for future campaigns.

The 2024 season looks no different, with several crucial signings already made, but it's the procurement of Geno Stone that's drawing particular praise. Esteemed ESPN analyst Aaron Schatz described the deal as the “best bargain signing of free agency,” a sentiment widely shared among football pundits.

Stone's impressive showing in the 2023 season has made him a significant asset for the Bengals. By securing his services with a two-year contract worth $15 million, featuring $6 million guaranteed, Cincinnati has not only filled a vital gap in their defense but also snagged an emerging star at a price that's considered a steal.

The Significance of Stone's Integration

Stone’s 2023 season statistics are a testament to his defensive prowess, boasting seven interceptions—ranking second league-wide—as well as achieving a personal best of 68 tackles and nine passes defended.

His departure is a considerable blow for the Ravens, especially given the tight constraints of their salary cap, which inevitably forced them to relinquish a key defensive player to a division rival. Eric DeCosta, the Ravens' General Manager, acknowledged Stone's departure with high praise, calling him the “best seventh-round pick in Ravens history”.

This acclaim from a divisional rival underscores the Bengals' savvy in securing Stone’s allegiance.

Enhancing Cincinnati’s Defensive Backbone

The Bengals' defense, already teeming with promising talent such as Cam Taylor-Britt, DJ Turner II, Dax Hill, and Jordan Battle, is set to be further enriched by Stone’s inclusion.

Given his remarkable ability to intercept and defend against passes, Stone is poised to address Cincinnati’s previous shortcomings in pass defense, which saw them conceding an average of 248.4 yards per game last season.

A Testament to Cincinnati’s Foresight

As anticipation builds for the 2024 NFL season, the Bengals' acquisition of Geno Stone is increasingly regarded as a masterstroke. This move epitomizes the Bengals' knack for foresight and strategic planning, securing a high-caliber player without the hefty price tag typically associated with such talent.

With Stone now part of their roster, the Bengals’ defense is expected to undergo a significant transformation, potentially establishing them as a powerhouse in the competitive landscape of the NFL.

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