Bengals: Trading for Chandler Jones would turn pass-rush into elite unit

Chandler Jones (Photo by Rob Leiter via Getty Images)
Chandler Jones (Photo by Rob Leiter via Getty Images) /

It’s not being discussed much but Chandler Jones could be on the trade block and if he is, the Cincinnati Bengals have to call the Cardinals and offer just about whatever they’re asking. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports wrote an article about Jones and how a blockbuster trade could be on the horizon, which is what inspired me to write this article.

"Sure, no one asked Chandler Jones about what’s going on with him and the Cardinals during a phone call on national television, but pay even a little attention to Arizona OTAs and it’s clear all is not rosy between player and team (something we projected and anticipated and told you guys was coming months ago). Jones, despite being one of the elite pass rushers of his generation, is still on an old contract with no guaranteed money. There hasn’t been any word of any talk to extend him before the 2021 season, and, well, the signs so far have all pointed in a predictable direction."

If true, the Bengals could be one of the first in line to acquire about Jones’ availability and what it’d cost to land the premier pass-rusher. Last year wasn’t great for Jones, but prior to that, he was riding a five-season streak of double-digit sacks, including a whopping 19 sacks in 2019.

The Bengals had the least amount of sacks in 2020 and they failed to retain Carl Lawson this offseason. They signed Trey Hendrickson away from the Saints and added four defensive linemen in the 2021 NFL Draft, proving they are making strides to improve at getting after the quarterback but imagine Jones joining this group. It’d be lethal.

Chandler Jones wouldn’t be cheap but he’d make the Bengals pass rush elite.

To land Jones, the Bengals would have to part ways with several draft picks as well as a key player, maybe even two. Who would they be willing to ship to Arizona in exchange for Jones? His injury last year could be used against him but then again, it was a bicep injury, which isn’t as scary moving forward as a knee or ACL type of injury.

If this trade did occur, Jones paired up with Hendrickson — who totaled 13.5 sacks last year in New Orleans — would be a lethal duo. All of a sudden the Bengals’ pass rush would go from a weakness to a strength and it’d give them the juice to contend in their tough division.

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The asking price would be steep but for a Bengals pass rush that ranked last in the league in sacks a season ago, it’d be worth it to bring Chandler Jones in and let him, Hendrickson, and the other new additions to the defense wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks this year.