The trade deadline has come and gone and just as they promised, the Cincinnati Bengals did nothing. Now the question is, was doing nothing the right thing to do, or, was it just another missed opportunity?
One thing you can say about the Cincinnati Bengals front office when they say something they mean it. Reports were that the Brown family had no intention of making any moves by the NFL trade deadline and they held to it. The question is, was that the smart move for this franchise going forward?
Arguments can be made for both sides. On the one hand, you could say trading your veteran players for future draft picks is the smart move. Some might argue that many veterans on this team still have too much to offer to consider moving. While I agree that you can make a case for someone like A.J. Green being retained, players like Cordy Glenn or Tyler Eifert are expendable at this point.
Glenn hasn’t played a snap all year and may never wear the stripes again. Why not try to get some compensation out of him? Maybe Cincinnati did shop him around and maybe no one was interested. Perhaps they have no leverage and most teams know he is just biding his time. If that is the case then there isn’t much that can be done. However, in a league desperate for offensive linemen, if the Bengals could have gotten anything in return and simply didn’t pull the trigger, that has to be considered a serious misstep.
At this point, the same can be said for Eifert. It is hard to believe there was no market for the veteran tight end. Maybe the Bengals plan on extending his contract after the season is over. Even if that is the case, you must consider his usage factor. The Bengals rarely use their tight ends as anything more than blockers and seem determined to utilize 11 personnel with three wide receivers.
It’s entirely possible that the Bengals asking price was simply too high. Overvaluing players has been a problem for this front office and has burned them in the past. A.J. McCarron is someone who comes to mind. If Glenn and Eifert walk after this season, letting them go for nothing when they could have gotten draft compensation in return would only look like incompetence from this front office. Even if it’s only late-round compensation, anything is better than nothing.
This organization has prided itself on building through the draft for years. It simply doesn’t make sense not to add extra draft capital for players that seem to have no future on this roster, or in Glenn’s case, doesn’t even seem to want to be on this roster at all.
A case can also be made for veterans like Carlos Dunlap or Geno Atkins. Both players are on the wrong side of thirty but are still productive. You could trade them and go younger and not many people would argue. On the other hand, keeping them around to usher in the next generation makes sense as well.
The point is this: morale is noticeably down around the Cincinnati Bengals. There seems to be nothing that shows any sign of direction for the future. This front office can no longer afford to sit on their hands any longer. You didn’t have to trade everyone but trading no one only feels like there is no plan, and right now, fans desperately need to know there is a direction for the future.