Mike Zimmer says Bengals are close to 'really close' to AFC's best

Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

The Bengals are coming off back-to-back playoff appearances and Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer said he doesn't think the team is far behind the AFC's elite.

The Cincinnati Bengals made the playoffs in each of the last two seasons and while they were unable to win a playoff game, their defensive coordinator said he thinks the team is close to joining the AFC's elite.

For more on the Bengals, visit Cincy Jungle

In an appearance on the NFL Network Zimmer said the Bengals made progress last season and were a lot closer to becoming a contender in the AFC.

"We're right there. But we're going to have to keep grinding and keep adding talent," Zimmer said. "We have a good nucleus of guys, and I think we're exactly where we need to be."

The Bengals have the most salary cap space in the NFL, something which should help them retain their current free agents while also adding talent. Defensive end Michael Johnson is one of Cincinnati's key free agents and Zimmer said he was hopeful the team would be able to keep Johnson and other free agents.

Adding some talent in the draft could also help the Bengals take the next step. Defensively, Zimmer said he thought the Bengals need to add linebacker depth and could also use some help at safety.

More in the NFL:

49ers trade Alex Smith to Chiefs

NFL Combine's biggest winners and losers

The best (and we mean worst) quotes from the Combine

NFL Mock Draft: We have a new No. 1

Why every city is awful for NFL free agents

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.