Bengals All-Time Lists

6 most disappointing trades in Cincinnati Bengals history

Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
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Trading for the rights to sign Reggie Rembert in 1990

In my quest to find some of the most disappointing trades in Bengals history, I stumbled upon a video from Official JaguarGator9 on YouTube, who detailed the riskiest trade in the history of the Cincinnati Bengals.

The aforementioned trade involved the Bengals acquiring wide receiver Reggie Rembert from the Jets in exchange for Scott Jones and Joe Kelly.

Rembert was a star wide receiver at West Virginia in 1988 and 1989, who totaled 1,366 yards and 18 touchdowns during his two seasons there while also scoring three rushing touchdowns. He was an elusive playmaker for the Mountaineers and it’s no wonder why the Jets took him in the second round of the 1990 NFL Draft.

After the Jets selected Rembert, the video mentions that the rookie was late for his arrival in the Big Apple and when he did finally arrive, no one from the Jets organization was there to pick him up. Oof.

From there, it continued to spiral. The Jets lowballed Rembert and this eventually came to a head, as they realized they were far from getting a deal done and put the West Virginia product on the trade block.

The Bengals needed help at the wide receiver position behind Eddie Brown and Tim McGee and hadn’t drafted a receiver until the fifth round of the 1990 NFL Draft. So, they decided to be bold and acquire only the rights to sign Rembert. To trade away a talented 26-year-old linebacker like Joe Kelly only for the RIGHTS to sign a player was an incredibly bold move.

Fortunately, it wasn’t a total disaster, as Rembert and the Bengals did agree on a deal. That was about the only positive thing to come from this trade, as he didn’t play in 1990 due to injury though and when he was on the field, not much production was to be had.

Rembert played just 28 games and made four starts during his three-year NFL career (not just Bengals career), grabbing 36 catches for 437 yards and one touchdown. His injury problems paired with his off-the-field issues eventually resulted in Rembert being out of the league after just three years.

This was definitely a risky trade and it didn’t pan out for the Bengals. Meanwhile, Kelly went on to play seven more years. Cincinnati could have used him, that’s for sure.

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