Two interesting trade targets suggested for the Cincinnati Bengals
Recently, two interesting trade targets, Cameron Brate and Haason Reddick, have surfaced for the Cincinnati Bengals’ front office to potentially pursue.
It’s getting to the point of the offseason where most of the action is firmly in the rear-view mirror. The free-agent market (although there are some intriguing options still available) has largely dried up, the draft has come and gone, and teams have settled in to gear up operations in preparation for next season. The 2020 Cincinnati Bengals are no exception to this lull of inactivity.
With so much free time on the hands of fans and pundits alike, there is plenty of opportunity to evaluate the weaknesses that still remain on the Bengals’ roster. The most glaring hole appears to be along the offensive trenches, and the candidates for shoring up that position group have already been discussed.
However, if you ask Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox, the team should go after targets to add to their tight end and linebacker rooms. In his article “7 NFL Trades That Should Happen Before the 2020 Season“, Knox suggests that Cincinnati looks into Buccaneer’s tight end Cameron Brate and Cardinal’s linebacker Haason Reddick.
There have long been rumblings that Tampa Bay might be willing to deal tight end O.J. Howard, but the more seasoned Brate brings intriguing skills to the table as well. He can be used in the passing game, as he secured 660 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns in his best season as a pro. He can hold his own blocking as well.
The Bengals didn’t use tight ends often in the first year under the watch of Zac Taylor. So, unless something drastic happens where the offensive coaching staff decides to use tight ends more frequently to better utilize Joe Burrow’s skillset, it’s hard to see there being enough snaps going around. The team already has C.J. Uzomah, who they’re big fans of, along with the highly drafted Drew Sample, who they’ll expect to take a leap in development next season.
Still, the 28-year-old is set to carry a cap hit of just $4.25M next season and the front office can cut ties in any of the remaining three years of his contract with zero dead cap after that. If the Bucs decide to give him up for a late-round pick to clear the way for Howard and the recently un-retired Rob Gronkowski, it at least deserves to be discussed as a possibility.
Reddick, on the other hand, has failed to live up to the expectations of being the 13th overall pick. Coming out of Temple, the 6’1, 235-pound linebacker showed impressive athleticism. He was pegged to be a guy that could rush the passer extremely well, perform in coverage, and show off sideline to sideline range in the run game.
In the first three years of his career, he’s only racked up 7.5 sacks and has largely disappointed in other aspects.
The idea behind the trade here is that the Bengals could find a way to get more out of him than the Cardinals have. He’s in the final year of his rookie contract and someone Cincinnati could take a flier on. After all, he boasts a 4.52 second 40, an 11’1″ broad jump, and a 36 inch vertical, all speaking to his explosion.
Still, as most fans are aware, the Bengals completely overhauled their linebacker unit this offseason. With Logan Wilson, Akeem Davis-Gaither, Josh Bynes, and Markus Bailey now in the mix, finding a spot for Reddick doesn’t make sense, especially if they have to give up a draft pick to acquire him.
Of the two trade targets listed, Brate would seem to add more value to the team. At the very least, both are intriguing options and provide fans the opportunity to debate whether the front office should go after them.