The Bengals have until 4 p.m. ET Tuesday to make a trade, if they were so inclined, to help them compete with the rest of the AFC North. If they had an 0-6 record at this point, I would say making a trade is pointless, nothing you will do from this point on will help you make it to the post season. However, they're not 0-6, they're 4-2 and they're sitting comfortably in second place in the division.
4-2 is a long way away from saying that a team is heading to the playoffs but it's a good start. Moving on into the rest of the season, the Bengals face much tougher opponents, including a four-game streak of games against division opponents in which they play the Steelers twice. It goes without saying that things will be tougher for the Bengals soon.
They could probably use some help if they would like to continue their early-season success. Will they seek the help that they need though?
I recently wrote a piece for SB Nation's NFL page discussing the trade deadline and what each team in the AFC North could use. I said the Ravens could use help at the cornerback position, the Steelers could use help on the offensive line and the Browns could use help at the wide receiver position or possibly even at running back, depending on what happens to Peyton Hillis.
For the Bengals, I said if they made a trade, they may want to pursue a running back or a wide receiver. At wide receiver, while it looks like the investigation of Jerome Simpson may be over, we really have no clue what's going to happen. If his season ends early thanks to the eight pounds of marijuana, the Bengals could use a No. 2 receiver.
When it comes to running back, the Bengals could lose Cedric Benson to a three-game suspension later in the year. We're not quite sure on that but even if he doesn't get suspended, the Bengals may want to look elsewhere for a running back. Benson is averaging 3.9 yards per carry but there are only two games out of the Bengals' six in which he's averaged more than four, including an abysmal 2.2 yards per carry against the Jaguars. I know there are Benson supporters but if the Bengals want to take the concept of playing in the post season seriously, they may want to figure out a way to run the ball effectively.
It's doubtful that the Bengals will make a trade before Tuesday's deadline, but if they do, what position do you think they should make a trade for?