The Cincinnati Bengals have 22 unrestricted free agents as they head into the offseason. Many of these players make up the backbone of this team that has now made the playoffs in two consecutive years.
With the free-agency period beginning in short order, there are several key names that are on this list that should be back in Cincinnati next season with new contracts.
Bengals owner Mike Brown has been known to pinch his pennies when it comes to spending in free agency, but certain players simply cannot be overlooked.
What the Bengals do need to watch out for, however, is leaving enough room to renegotiate deals with current players that have expiring contracts within the next year.
One prime example is Geno Atkins, the Bengals' Pro Bowl defensive tackle. He will become a free agent in 2014 and it is imperative to re-sign him before his current contract expires.
So, without further delay, let's break down the top five Bengals free agents that should stay in Cincinnati for at least one more season.