If past years are any indication of how much trading the Cincinnati Bengals like to do in the offseason, then we might be in for a quiet couple of months until training camp starts. But for the sake of a good read we are going to discuss the top three players the Bengals could move to help make a strong run into the playoffs.
Nov 30, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Leon Hall (29) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14-13. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
He has one of the largest salaries, one of the worst injury histories and did I mention also one of the oldest members on the team?
At the same time Leon Hall locks down the slot with the best of them and brings leadership to a young roster and ever younger secondary. While he might not bring the most in a trade, this would be a trade intended to free up cap space.
Trade Value: Fourth to Sixth Round Selection
Sep 14, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tackle Andre Smith (71) against the Atlanta Falcons at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Thanks to the 2015 NFL Draft the Bengals now boast one of the best tackle groups the league has ever seen. Doing so theoretically allows Cincinnati to move one of these tackles in an effort to get better elsewhere. Andrew Whitworth bleeds orange and black, so he isn’t going anywhere, so that leaves Andre Smith.
Even with all the hype surrounding how good he looks, the fact is he is coming off injury and is going to want another contract after this year. At this point, it seems pretty obvious that he isn’t getting that in Cincinnati. So the question is, why not move him for someone younger or a pick?
Trade Value: Third to Fourth Round Selection
Nov 30, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Now before everyone goes crazy hear me out. Yes, A.J. Green is the best player on the Bengals and has been since being drafted in 2011, but now it’s time to pay him a salary commensurate with what he brings to the field.
Making things worse is it seems like half of the Bengals will be free agents next year. So, is signing Green to a massive contract worth losing three to four starters? That’s up to the front office, but it is something that will be discussed following the 2015 season.
Trade Value: First to Second Round Selection