Since Bill Lazor took over the play-calling duties for the Cincinnati Bengals, Joe Mixon has been the featured back. Mixon and Giovani Bernard have taken over the bulk of the carries which leaves Jeremy Hill as the odd man out. With Mixon and Bernard carrying the load, is Hill now expendable?
It was only a matter of time before Joe Mixon would take over as the featured back and Jeremy Hill would fall to being a short yardage back. Personally, I didn’t think it would be so soon. But, it has happened and now Hill is the odd man out.
The Bengals legitimately have a three-headed monster in the backfield, but there are simply not enough carries to go around. Feeding Mixon is a must. He churns out first downs time and time again and once he gets tired, Giovani Bernard electrifies the crowd with a big play of some kind.
Then there’s Hill, patiently awaiting his time to shine. Let’s face it. How excited do you actually get when Hill is in the game over Bernard and Mixon? Chances are not very excited.
Despite getting to start against Buffalo this past weekend, Hill is not going to get the same amount of playing time that he is used. With that being said, Hill is also better than a lot of starting running backs in the league.
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As much as the Bengals may not want to, it might be better off to trade Hill before the NFL deadline on October 31st. Hill is in the last year of his deal and is most likely going to be out of Cincinnati after this season anyway. Better to get something than nothing, right?
But, Where To?
Since the moment the Bengals selected Mixon, everyone has been eyeing the New York Giants as the most logical destination to send the former LSU Tiger. I mean, it makes perfect sense. The Giants don’t have a running game to speak of and now at 0-5, they have a top 5 pick coming. Chances are New York is already licking their chops for Saquon Barkley.
San Francisco, the New York Jets, Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts and the Washington Redskins are all running back-needy teams. But, would any of them be willing to trade for Jeremy Hill? I don’t know about that.
Jeremy is worth a Day 2 pick and unless they see hill as a building block, I don’t see teams lining up to give up a pick for Hill. If that was the case, he would’ve been gone a long time ago.
What Does This Mean?
Essentially, be ready to cheer on Hill for the rest of the season. If one of these running back-needy teams don’t see Hill as a starter or a building block, chances are he’ll stay in Cincinnati for the remainder of the season and leave in free agency to find a new home.
Finally, embrace this three-headed monster the Bengals have. Jeremy, Bernard and Mixon create the Bengals’ version of Earth, Wind and Fire that the Giants used to have. It was productive for the Giants. Let’s hope that the Bengals’ rushing attack and play calling continues to get better.