The Cincinnati Bengals have roared to a 5-2 start this season and if the season ended today, every team in the AFC would have to go through them to get to the Super Bowl. Pretty crazy, huh?
With the NFL trade deadline taking place next week, the Bengals have frequently been listed as buyers, which is a new feeling for the fan base.
Patrik Walker of CBS Sports wrote an article about trades that contending teams should look into and for the Bengals, he said Xavien Howard is a candidate they should be doing everything they can to get to the Queen City.
"It was a tumultuous offseason for Howard and the Dolphins, but they held firm on not trading him and instead reworked his contract to give him more guaranteed money. That was then and this is now, though, and the Dolphins are currently 1-6 with no signs of improving — their defense currently ranked second-worst in the league. Howard is still a primo talent, and the Bengals just proved they’re ready for the big stage by dismantling the Ravens in Baltimore. Adding Howard would not only help keep the Ravens at bay, but also prolific passing offenses like the one in Buffalo."
I love this idea. It’d be costly, yes, but the Bengals are in a good financial situation and could afford to pay Howard the $75 million extension he signed with the Dolphins earlier this year. The Dolphins went back and forth with Howard this offseason but they extended him and while it was the right decision, the team is 1-6 and isn’t going anywhere. Trading him makes sense.
The Bengals also have the draft capital to part with in order to land Howard. They’ve been drafting well recently and could afford to part with two or three picks if that’s what Miami was seeking in return.
Xavien Howard would make the Bengals better.
There aren’t many weaknesses on the 2021 Bengals roster (there’s a sentence I never thought that I’d say) but cornerback is one of them. Trae Waynes has been a terrible free-agent acquisition, playing in just two games since the Bengals inked him to a three-year $42 million last offseason. He’s on the IR again and while Eli Apple does his best, he’s not a quality option moving forward.
Howard, meanwhile, is still a clutch corner, notching nine pass breakups and two interceptions so far this season. He’d be a wonderful addition to Cincinnati’s secondary that still has to face some pretty lethal teams down the stretch.
If they’re squaring off against the likes of the Bills, Chargers, or even the Ravens again come postseason time, Howard could be the difference.
Go make this trade, Cincy.