B.J. Hill is an active, hard-nosed defensive tackle and the 45th-ranked overall free agent on Pro Football Network’s Top 50 Free Agents list. What sort of contract could Hill land during free agency, and what are his notable stats and accolades?
B.J. Hill: Free Agency Overview
Hill is going to be valuable as a free agent because he’s a good run stopper at 330 pounds. He can also penetrate the backfield and get to the football. Hill has a few pass-rushing moves, occasionally flashing that he can harass opposing quarterbacks.
Recapping Hill’s 2021 season
Acquired from the New York Giants in exchange for center Billy Price and a seventh-round draft pick, Hill is the reason why Cincinnati won the trade. He had 2 sacks in his first game even though he played behind D.J. Reader and Larry Ogunjobi.
A former third-round draft pick who had 5.5 sacks and 37 pressures during the regular season, Hill intercepted Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes during an overtime victory in 2021.
Furthermore, Hill tied a career high with 6 tackles for loss and set a career high with 12 QB hits. However, much of Hill’s presence isn’t seen on the stat sheet.
He routinely fills gaps and forces running backs into other defenders. That is necessary on a defensive line with Reader and Ogunjobi as stout pass-rush options.
Hill’s contract estimate and salary cap implications
After his rookie deal expired, Hill could command $10 million to $12 million annually this offseason. It’s hard to see Cincinnati being able to afford him, given their need to spend on offensive linemen to address the weakest position on the roster.
Possible landing spots for Hill
The Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Las Vegas Raiders, and Cleveland Browns all make sense for Hill. Hill will be a sought-after run-stuffing commodity if Cincinnati cannot retain his services.
What they’re saying about Hill
“I remember how he played for us the year I was with him as a rookie in New York. He’s made some huge plays for us this year and given us some inside pressure from the 3-technique and shade position. You saw the impactful play he made in Kansas City. B.J.’s a great guy. … I was excited to be able to get him when the opportunity presented itself.” — Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo on his thoughts when Hill was traded to Cincinnati
“When I found out I was going to be traded, I was down because I didn’t want to leave. I knew this place going on four years. When I heard Cincinnati, it was perfect. I knew coach Lou (Anarumo), my guy Germaine Pratt. I fit in perfectly. They made it easy with the transition, getting to learn the playbook. It was a great, great trade.” — Hill on being traded from the Giants to the Bengals