Three years after drafting him in the first round, the Cincinnati Bengals have begun laying the groundwork for offensive lineman Billy Price's exit.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Bengals will not exercise the fifth-year option on Price's rookie deal. This will enable him to be a free agent after the 2021 season.
The 21st overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, Price's career got off on the wrong foot when he tore his pec at the NFL Scouting Combine. He recovered enough to make 10 starts at center as a rookie, but his play has declined since then.
Over the last two seasons, he's appeared in all 32 games at both guard spots but has only started nine. He's likely destined for a reserve role in 2021 as well.
Nearly a dozen teams have already said they will exercise the fifth-year option for their 2018 first-round picks, with more to follow. Price is the first to have his option declined.
Hopefully the Ohio State product can have a strong 2021 season and reenergize his career before he hits free agency in 2022.