Football is back! The preseason is here! There are roster moves to be made! And everyone loves a good trade by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Here are three Cincinnati Bengals players the team could potentially include in a trade before the beginning of the regular season.
Ideally, the Bengals should have signed Jessie Bates to a long-term contract. They did not. Thus, they used the franchise tag on the star safety. Doing so sparked an interest in Bates’ services around the league. If the Bengals can drive up interest from multiple teams, they could get back a good player and/or future draft picks.
One potential landing spot for Bates is Philadelphia. The Eagles were rumored to be interested in the safety even before the Bengals tagged him. Philly is amidst an offensive line competition centered around Jack Driscoll and Isaac Seumalo. The Eagles do not want to lose Driscoll or Seumalo, especially now with Jason Kelce out with an injury.
Seumalo still has the edge in the right guard competition. Landing Driscoll, who performed admirably last year at both right guard and tackle, along with a draft pick, could be an excellent pickup for Cincinnati.
Furthermore, we know that the Bengals are not averse to playing offensive linemen at spots they have never played before. A player like Driscoll would provide even more competition at the left guard spot.
Another team rumored to have an interest in Bates is the New York Jets. It just so happens that they have a position battle going on at safety. Will Parks, Ashtyn Davis, LaMarcus Joyner, and Jason Pinnock are all vying for the free safety position in New York.
Pinnock is a converted slot corner who played well at safety last year when he was called on.
Pinnock is looking to have a more prominent role this year after having a promising rookie campaign last year. If the Bengals were to go with this trade, at the very least, Pinnock could offer depth behind rookie first-rounder Dax Hill.
The expectation is that Cincinnati will let Bates walk after the 2022 season, even if he does eventually show up for the regular season. Also, Vonn Bell is in the final year of his contract, so moving on from Bates this year would help buffer the Bengals against a future where the team loses both starting safeties in one offseason.
Pinnock, who is still on his rookie deal, could provide depth and compete for a starting role with the Bengals this year and beyond.
Cincinnati could make Bates available and let the offers come to them. There would be many suitors for his services if Cincinnati were to go that route.