The Cincinnati Bengals are not known for pulling off trades during the preseason. The most recent such move was the capper they pulled off by acquiring B.J. Hill from the Giants in exchange for Billy Price in the 2021 offseason.
Now the organization has changed its stripes, perhaps Cincinnati may be more open to making preseason or cutdown day moves. If that is the case, here are three minor trades the Bengals could make that would have a major impact moving forward.
Trade for Zach Tom (Packers offensive lineman)
The Green Bay Packers have an excellent offensive line. It must be if they can’t find a starting spot for Zach Tom anywhere along it.
Green Bay drafted Tom with the 140th overall pick in 2022. Despite his versatility and excellent play versus the likes of Chase Young in college, he lasted late into the fourth round.
Last year, Tom played in nine games with five starts. In limited action last season, the former Deacon Demon proved he belonged. Pro Football Focus notes the Packers rookie allowed one sack in 489 snaps. Furthermore, those snaps were taken all over the line of scrimmage. He would be even better if he could settle in at one spot as a pro.
Tom proved he was a versatile player capable of playing multiple positions along the offensive line at a high level. He also showed excellent pass-blocking skills that translated nicely from college to the NFL.
However, as a Packer, Tom has yet to crack the lineup as a full-time starter and it does not appear it will happen this year either. Freddie Boston of Lombardi Ave has the lineman as a backup in his post-draft depth chart.
The Packers love Tom, but not enough to hand him a starting job. If he is not going to be a starter, perhaps Green Bay would be willing to try to get a return on their investment for a reserve lineman.
Tom would improve their depth at every spot on the offensive line for the Bengals, including center. Also, he could jump right into the right tackle “competition” and be a viable option. Furthermore, he would be added insurance against La’el Collins’ injury.
Moreover, with this season expected to be Jonah Williams’ last one in stripes, acquiring a player who could be seen as an eventual replacement this year rather than next year would give the coaching staff a head start on that process. There is a reason that the team signed Collins in free agency last year and is attempting to play Williams at right tackle this season.
The price to trade for Tom would be higher than for the other players on this list. However, Cincinnati has drafted a plethora of offensive linemen recently. They have signed some free agents to varying but mostly disappointing results. Now they should consider a trade to acquire depth for this season and a possible future starter on the offensive line.