5 Ideal Trade Scenarios for the Cincinnati Bengals to Pursue This Offseason
Under Marvin Lewis, the Cincinnati Bengals are not known for making major moves on the trade market.
Instead, the Bengals use free agency to retain their own, which they add via the draft. This strategy has worked wonders in recent years, which has led to the trade market simply being an afterthought for the organization.
That said, there are a few hypothetical moves the Bengals could make this offseason. While none are likely to come to fruition, it is always good to have an idea of things that may be on the table if the franchise does decide to utilize the market.
The following slideshow lists a few moves the Bengals could make this offseason that can help the roster, although the odds they occur are slim.
Trade for Jairus Byrd
The latest nugget to come out of the saga is a noteworthy report from Joe Buscaglia of WGR 550 Buffalo, which says that the Bills may tag their star safety once again in order to trade him:
Byrd genuinely wants to play for a winning team, so what he may think of the team's prospects could also play a part. If all goes poorly this week, expect the Bills to tag Byrd with the likely mindset of trying to move him.
This is quite the interesting development for the Cincinnati Bengals. Safety is not a major need, but Byrd next to Reggie Nelson would give the team one of the best defensive backfields in the league.
The cost of the trade itself is hard to determine, but giving up a pick or two to shore up an iffy area for years seems like a fair swap. Financially, Byrd will command a large amount of coin, but the Bengals have enough cap space to pull it off.
A long shot, sure. But if the Bengals see a good value here and a way to benefit from the drama in Buffalo, anything is possible.
Swipe Maurkice Pouncey from the Pittsburgh Steelers
Trades within a division are rather rare, but there are several factors that suggest the Pittsburgh Steelers may be willing to move on from starting center Maurkice Pouncey.
For one, Pouncey played in just a single game last season after tears to his right ACL and MCL. In his absence, the duo of Fernando Velasco and Cody Wallace played well, which leads to the next point—cost.
Pouncey is one of the better centers in the league, but may be out of the Steelers' price range as they start a roster rebuild. He is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and it is safe to assume he will command plenty of cash on the open market.
Rather than let Pouncey walk for nothing, the Steelers may be able to swing a trade for a mid-round pick with the Cincinnati Bengals. Marvin Lewis' team has an obvious weak link on an overall very good unit thanks to center Kyle Cook. The Bengals would be more than willing to take the risk in exchange for a mid-round pick that may not have made the final roster anyway.
Trade Rey Maualuga
This has absolutely nothing to do with pleasing fans, as anyone who wants Rey Maualuga gone does not appreciate the body of work he put together last season in what was a very good year overall.
No, this has everything to do with the staggering amount of depth the Cincinnati Bengals have on the roster at linebacker.
James Harrison is still on the strong side (and a sleeper candidate to be cut). Behind him, promising youngsters Jayson DiManche and Emmanuel Lamur are waiting for their chance. In the middle, Vontaze Burfict could also slide over, or Vincent Rey could take over. Lamur could also man the weak side, or the team could see what it has in second-year player Sean Porter.
Got all that?
Maualuga is expendable and entering the final year of his deal. Rey showed in flashes last season that he needs to be on the field more, as his talent is wasting away as a backup. If a team were to offer Cincinnati a mid-round draft pick or some depth along either of the trenches, the Bengals would be foolish to not pull the trigger.
Trade for Jonathan Martin
This would never happen, right?
Probably not, but Marvin Lewis does love his rehabilitation projects. According to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports, Jonathan Martin will meet with the Miami Dolphins soon:
Jonathan Martin's camp will meet w/ Dolphins soon, perhaps next week at the scouting combine. He wants to play. No trade demand as of yet.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) February 14, 2014
While certainly not groundbreaking news, one has to think Martin will want a fresh start elsewhere and the Dolphins cannot afford another black eye by refusing to trade him, provided that is what Martin wants.
The cost here would be cheap, and Martin may be a viable starter at left guard right away. He is a former second-round pick, and while he struggled at tackle, playing guard next to Andrew Whitworth may prove to revive his on-field career.
Trade Up in the Draft...or Down
The Cincinnati Bengals occasionally dabble in draft-day trades, especially to move down if the prospect they were targeting does not make it to their selection.
While the chances are laughably small, the Bengals do have the option to move up if they want to guarantee they land the prospect they want. Multiple selections and other assets to move up and grab a star corner, tackle on either side of the football or even a quarterback is something Cincinnati could look to do if they are not content with what will be available when they get to the podium.
Of course, the more realistic scenario is that they move down and accumulate more picks. Corner and tackle figure to be the most glaring needs on the roster currently, and both positions are deep in this class. A trade down into the second while grabbing a few more picks overall would serve the Bengals well in the depth department once again.
Funnily enough, a draft-day trade is likely the most realistic option of all given the scenarios provided here. Given the front office's propensity to build through the draft, do not be shocked in any way when the Bengals make a move on draft day.