Shaquil Barrett To Visit Bengals

The Bengals are looking for pass-rushing help. Cincinnati is hosting outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett on a visit later today, a source told Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com.

Barrett is testing the open market for the first time since entering the league as an undrafted free agent back in 2014. He signed with the Broncs originally, and has spent the last five years in Denver. The last we heard was that the Broncos “have had good conversations” with Barrett’s agent, so it certainly seems like he isn’t ruling out a return to Denver.

But Barrett has made it clear he’s looking for more playing time, and he might be able to find it in Cincinnati. At the end of last season, Barrett publicly declared he wanted to be a full-time starter in 2019.

“I want to start. I want to be a guy somewhere. I don’t want to just be a role player,” Barrett said. “I can’t do it. … Reserve role is done for me, unless that’s the only role I got after this year. But that’s not what I’m looking for going into free agency,” Barrett said at the time.

Barrett spent his rookie season on the Broncos’ practice squad, then burst onto the scene in 2015 with 5.5 sacks. He hasn’t been able to replicate that production since, mostly due to lack of playing time, but the Broncos thought highly enough of him to put a second round tender on him last offseason. With the Broncos’ staple of pass-rushers, Barrett was never going to be an every down player in Denver. Last year Barrett played right around 25% of the defensive snaps, and was also a key player on special teams.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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