Bengals wide receiver John Ross has not had the season that many hoped for, but his presence was noticed by opposing defenses. His speed is obviously well-known, and his deep preseason touchdown against the Buffalo Bills gave Bengals’ opponents a reason to fear him.
The threat of Ross going deep helped open up other options in the pass game, and as his groin injury lingers the Bengals will suffer. Here are four players the Bengals may be able to acquire to take the heat off the rest of the group in his absence.
Bryant is the most obvious answer. He can be a bit of a headache, but that never stopped the Bengals before. He is certainly not what he used to be, but there is something in a name. Remember, Ross has not been particularly productive, but his speed demanded the attention of the opposing defense. Bryant’s reputation will precede him and defenses will respect his resume. Bryant is a free agent, and has been since the Cowboys cut him this spring. There is no telling if he is in football shape or not.
Pryor couldn’t make it as a quarterback in Oakland, but had one very productive year as a wide receiver in Cleveland. He then had unsuccessful stops with the Redskins and Jets. Maybe a return to his home state will do him well. He was recently released, and should be someone the Bengals could get for short money. There is very little risk here and a lot of potential for reward. Also, Adam Jones is no longer on the team to refer to him as a garbage can.
There are conflicting reports about how the Dolphins feel about Parker and vice versa. The former first-round pick never lived up to expectations, but he is a viable deep threat. Putting Parker across from A.J. Green would force defenses to play differently and open up opportunities for Green and Tyler Boyd. The Dolphins traded their top running back Jay Ajayi for a fourth-round round pick last year, so if they want Parker out of Dodge, it won’t take much.
Jon Gruden called Bryant a “white tiger,” but would he be willing to call him a Bengal? Bryant has his problems both on and off the field, but he is big and fast and can stretch the field. Adding Bryant would be a short term solution, but that is all the Bengals need at the moment. Gruden seems willing to sell just about anyone at the moment. With former Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther on staff in Oakland, the Bengals may be able to trade one of their underperforming linebackers to the Raiders in exchange for Bryant.