The Cincinnati Bengals are still in the running for an extra pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
You may recall how the Bengals and Cowboys struck a trade during final roster cuts this year, sending Bene Benwikere to Dallas, marking the first Bengals-Cowboys trade since Jerry Jones bought the Cowboys in 1989.
It was simply Benwikere going to the Cowboys for a conditional pick, which is not quite as simple. According to the original agreement, Benwikere needed to be on Cowboys' 46-man gameday roster four times (or more) in 2017 for the Bengals to get the Cowboys’ sixth-round pick in 2019.
As the fifth/sixth corner on Dallas’ roster, Benwikere being active for four games was a stretch. That is, until a host of injuries to Dallas cornerbacks led to Benwikere being active in each of the past two games, though he got very few defensive snaps.
Now, Dallas’ injured corners are healthy, and with the return of David Irving from his four-game suspension, Benwikere was thought to be the man on the chopping block.
Then came news that Charles Tapper may be placed on injured reserve, which would free up the spot needed for Irving, allowing Benwikere to remain on the roster. If he can remain on the roster, Benwikere needs to be active for just two more games for Cincinnati to that extra sixth-round pick in 2019.
Even if it doesn’t work out, this was a great move by the Bengals who were going to cut Benwikere and now could get something out of nothing. Benwikere, a fifth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft by way of the Carolina Panthers, started 10 regular season games in his first two years and appeared in 23 total games from 2014-2015. However, Benwikere would fall out of favor and be cut before bouncing around with different teams ever since.
Once the 2017 offseason hit, Benwikere was free to sign with whoever he wanted, and Cincinnati ended up being his pick after four teams reportedly offered him a contract.
Benwikere never had a good chance of making the roster with Adam Jones, Dre Kirkpatrick, Darqueze Dennard, Josh Shaw and William Jackson III on the roster. However, a one-game suspension for Adam Jones opened the door for Benwikere to sneak onto the roster, at least for one week.
But, Benwikere was unable to outperform second-year cornerback KeiVarae Russell, who was clearly ahead in this battle heading into cutdown day. For the Bengals to possibly get an extra draft pick for a man they were about to cut would be great to see, though it’s still far from a certainty it happens.