The Cincinnati Bengals will need a replacement for A.J. Green this offseason, and one suggestion has them finding such a player on the trade market.
The Cincinnati Bengals have many needs they must address this offseason, but one of the most prominent is a wide receiver capable of filling the role that is expected to be vacated by A.J. Green. While there are certainly more pressing concerns along the trenches on both sides of the ball, with how often Zac Taylor’s offense opts to go five-wide, finding another weapon for Joe Burrow to throw to is an urgent matter in its own right.
As things stand, all the buzz centers around Cincinnati potentially taking one early on in the draft, whether that be with the fifth overall pick or at the top of round two. However, Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox has a crafty solution to allow the Bengals to net a top receiver, while still spending their first-round pick on an offensive lineman.
Knox highlights current Carolina Panther, D.J. Moore, as a target. The trade package laid out has the Bengals moving back to the 8th overall pick and giving up an additional mid-round pick in exchange for the electric receiver and the 5th overall selection.
"“Carolina Panthers wideout D.J. Moore-who has topped 1,100 yards in each of the last two seasons-has shown himself to be a No. 1 target… Burrow would have a No. 1 receiver and an improved offensive line.”"
While such a move seems out of character for the Bengals’ front office, it’s an idea worth discussing.
The logistics behind the Bengals acquiring D.J. Moore
For as good as Cincinnati’s offense looked at times with Burrow at the helm, it was clear that the unit was still missing two major components: Reliable offensive linemen and speed at receiver. The trade suggestion above addresses both.
Starting with the acquisition of Moore himself, he has the potential to be the deep threat that the Bengals were so clearly lacking throughout the 2020 campaign. He’s known for his speed, reportedly clocking in with a 4.42 40-yard-dash during his collegiate days at Maryland.
His stat line backs up the notion that he has the ability to take the top off a defense, as he averaged 18.1 yards per reception a season ago. For comparison’s sake, Tee Higgins averaged 13.6 yards per catch and Tyler Boyd was at 10.6 yards every time he reeled in a pass. Clearly, he brings a skill set to the table that the wide receiver room doesn’t possess.
It’s worth noting that Moore is still just 24-years-old and will carry a cap hit of just over $3.5M. However, he is in the final season of his rookie contract, meaning the Bengals would need to plan ahead to ensure he remains in stripes beyond 2021.
Moving on to the draft portion of the trade, it could make a lot of sense for Cincinnati to move back. Of course, this transaction would need to be pulled off on draft night, because if a prospect the caliber of Penei Sewell or Ja’Marr Chase fell into their laps, it would be too good of an opportunity to pass up on.
However, there’s a growing likelihood that neither of those players will be available by the time the Bengals are on the clock. As things stand, there aren’t any other offensive tackles that have draft grades that match up with the 5th overall selection.
With this trade, the offensive line room could still gain an outstanding bookend prospect like Christian Darrisaw or Rashawn Slater (likely the same prospect they would have taken if they hadn’t traded back), while also picking up a receiver. Two birds with one stone. Not to mention, that frees the club up to spend their second-round selection on a top defensive prospect, perhaps bolstering the pass rush or securing the future of the secondary.
From the Panther’s perspective, they would be able to net their quarterback for the future. While this transaction is unlikely, the logic behind it is not at all far-fetched. At the very least, it’s an intriguing idea for WhoDey Nation to chew on as they wait for the offseason festivities to begin.