Don't get your hopes up.
Typically trading deadline discussions around the NFL often reverts from pre-script fodder into a collective sigh, generated from fans supporting competitive teams looking to improve their respective roster. The league even added an amendment prior to the 2012 NFL regular season, bouncing the deadline two weeks from Week Six to Week Eight, hoping to generate some interest. With so many teams sticking their collectives noses into the postseason race, citing unwavering parity (especially in the AFC), it doesn't seem likely that we'll see many, if any, marquee trades by the October 30 deadline.
Especially the Bengals.
Despite making enough trades during recent seasons, almost every transaction they've participated in were during the offseason, preseason or days prior to the start of that respective regular season, as we've noted before. In fact we're fairly certain, having a decent pulse with this team's history, philosophy and personality, the organization will continue hoping players develop into something from nothing.
That being said, one player many have identified for pre-deadline fodder is Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams. Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera not only told reporters this week that Jonathan Stewart is starting, they're shifting away from the rotation that's characterized Carolina's philosophy.
"I want to see one guy pound and get a rhythm and then he gets tired and the other guy comes in," Rivera said. "To me it's hard for a back to get a rhythm when you're coming out every other play."
Some would argue that Williams has indirectly been declared as trade-bait.
Currently Williams is averaging 3.5 yards/rush on 50 carries, with only two touchdowns. Additionally Williams has three years remaining on a $43 million extension that he signed last offseason, weighing a significant cap hit not only for the Panthers, but for the team he would theoretically be traded to. We have yet to enter the discussion on what it would take to complete a trade with a team desiring high-draft picks and an organization that recently fired their general manager.
Seriously? Let's invest in another running back with BenJarvus Green-Ellis type of production this year, crushing our happy cap space that we suspect is largely designated to re-sign our core players, and sacrifice a draft pick for someone recently benched on a 1-5 team.
Nate Davis with USA Today argues a Dwayne Bowe trade to the Cincinnati Bengals:
He never did get the long-term deal he wanted and was forced to settle for the $9.5 million franchise tag in a city he apparently wants to leave. But the Bengals have the cap room to pay a player like Bowe long-term and, more important, they could clearly use a bona fide wingman to complement A.J. Green. Bowe isn't a transcendent talent, but his size and ability to move the chains would perfectly mesh with the field-stretching Green, who was essentially erased last week by the Pittsburgh Steelers, who didn't seem to fear Andy Dalton's other options. Meanwhile, Kansas CIty Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli, who already has a Bowe clone in Jonathan Baldwin, could get a nice parting gift for the free-agent-to-be ... assuming Pioli's still around to shape the roster in 2013.
Despite being very unlikely that Cincinnati, or many teams around the NFL for that matter (Dolphins were rumored at one point), puts together a trade package that interests Kansas City, this is an argument we'd be more favorable of entertaining.
The Bengals desperately need a No. 2 receiver this season and they can dictate the long-term deal it would take to bring Bowe, including how it impacts the cap long-term with contracts for guys like Michael Johnson, Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap, to name a few. Cincinnati also has a second-round pick that may be enough, if the Bengals target the position as a "need" not only this weekend, but next year as well.
That being said, and we're conjecturing here, we see the more likely scenario of developing rookies Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones while using Band-Aid/stop-gap players this season with Armon Binns and Brandon Tate.