Cincinnati Bengals: Emotion aside, trading A.J. Green should happen

The potential trade of A.J. Green is soliciting a lot of emotion in and around the Queen City. Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick saying, “it better not happen” is an overreaction to the cost of doing business in the NFL.

Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick offered both a cryptic and misguided message regarding a potential trade that would send wide receiver A.J. Green to another team. Green, along with Tyler Eifert, has been rumored as two who could be traded this season. In an article posted on Yahoo Sports, Kirkpatrick, responding to questions involving the Bengals star wide receiver, saying, “it better not happen.”

Green, who has not played in 2019, won’t be on the field in Week 6 when the Bengals play the Baltimore Ravens. If you read enough social media and NFL tea leaves, Green playing at all this season in Cincinnati might already be decided.

Then again, maybe not.

Once you get past the emotion of it all, especially that expressed by Kirkpatrick, there is logic in making such a move. Green has value, even injured, for a team that is 0-5 and looking for all the world a season or two late on a rebuild. The Bengals are void of talent and a lot of it. The fastest way in NFL years to catch up to those who are ahead of you in the standings is to make a trade and collect draft picks.

Don’t get me wrong. Kirkpatrick wants to win with the team he knows in the locker room. But after five weeks, Green in the lineup offers little in return given the team the Bengals currently field. He doesn’t change much beyond being another set of hands to catch a football. He doesn’t change the deficiencies on defense and he doesn’t run or pass block.

The emotion surrounding Green is understandable. The logic in keeping him is not. The Bengals aren’t one player away from winning. They certainly aren’t a wide receiver away from winning either.

Kirkpatrick is running on the emotion of having not won a game this season, and the idea he’d offer such a dire message in response to the Green question is unfortunate. It may resonate with those fans who think they can still win in 2019, but not many more.

The NFL is still a business. If Mike Brown ever realizes that, the Bengals could have a chance. Kirkpatrick might be wise to listen to a 10-year vet like Carlos Dunlap who gets it.

“End of the day, it’s a business. You got to move on and put new pieces in. I’m Employee 96 right now. In a couple years there will be a new 96. Hopefully more than a couple years.”

I believe wholeheartedly Dre Kirkpatrick wants to win. I believe the entire Cincinnati Bengals locker room wants to win. Their best route to winning again in the Queen City might be in A.J. Green going elsewhere. Maybe one day soon, Kirkpatrick will see the logic in that.