Nov. 15, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills free safety Jairus Byrd (31) recovers a fumble during the first half against the Miami Dolphins at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
The Bengals figure to be fairly quiet at the trade deadline, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see their names bantered about in trade talks. NFL.com’s Chris Wessling believes the Bengals should make a run at Buffalo Bills free safety Jairus Byrd in hopes of upgrading their defensive backfield after Hall was lost for the year:
"Byrd wants to become the highest-paid safety in football, and the Bills won’t meet that asking price. Although a trade is unlikely due to Byrd’s contract status and perceived value, Philadelphia makes sense as a landing spot. Byrd played under coach Chip Kelly at Oregon, and the Eagles need help at safety. The Bengals have plenty of salary-cap space and question marks in the secondary following Leon Hall’s season-ending Achilles injury."
Erik Lambert of NFL Mocks also floated the idea of Byrd to the Bengals:
"Word is he wants to get paid like the best safety in football after two Pro Bowls in four years but the Bills simply aren’t willing to meet his price. Since he was kept on board with the franchise tag his trade value is fixed at a point where almost no team will want to meet it unless given a very good reason. Philadelphia made initial sense because Chip Kelly recruited Byrd out of high school but a strong look hints the Cincinnati Bengals make more sense. They run a 4-3 defense which Byrd has thrived in, have enough salary cap space to absorb his contract and also a growing need in their secondary after the loss of cornerback Leon Hall to a torn Achilles."
My take: Trade talks are fun, but hoping for a trade will often leave you sad. Be glad the Bengals aren’t in a position they desperately need to make a move. Even with Hall’s loss, this team is capable of making a run in the playoffs on the strength of their pass-rush and suddenly balanced offense that can keep any defense on their toes when they’re clicking.