The news was fairly shocking as he is going into his third season after Cincinnati spent the ninth overall selection on him in the 2017 NFL Draft. As it turns out, it was fake news to the Bengals and director of player personnel Duke Tobin.
Speaking at the combine on Wednesday, Tobin emphatically denied the team is shopping Ross.
Bengals exec Duke Tobin: “We’ve had NO discussion about John Ross ... that’s from ‘ready, fire, aim’ school of journalism. ...— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) February 27, 2019
“We have a lot of players looking to find their fit, not just John. ... We certainly are not giving up on him.” -Duke Tobin, when asked how John Ross will fit in under new staff #Bengals— Laurel Pfahler (@LaurelPfahler) February 27, 2019
Tobin as emphatic as can be they have zero plans to trade Ross. I had heard similar reaction from others inside building after report.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) February 27, 2019
New head coach Zac Taylor is also excited to work with Ross:
Zac Taylor says John Ross has a “very exciting future” with the #Bengals. “I can’t wait to get to work with him.”— Fletcher Page (@FletcherPage) February 27, 2019
This actually jives with reports that NFL teams had apparently been trying to get Ross before this most recent report, but the Bengals said no.
I have heard that teams inquired about John Ross during the season but the Bengals said no. https://t.co/4gDC34nRLV— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) February 27, 2019
It did seem very surprising that Taylor was open to the team moving on from Ross, who clearly has plenty of athleticism. Afterall, it seemed Bill Lazor didn’t get the full potential out of Ross’ skill set, but then again, you could blame quarterback play as well.
It is probably even more surprising that the Marvin Lewis coaching staff wasn’t willing to part ways with Ross considering he wasn’t exactly treated favorably, even when healthy.
It’s still very possible that Cincinnati will field offers, though it’s hard to see them getting anything close to the value Ross has to this franchise as a former No. 9 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Let’s hope we get to see Ross playing in Bengals stripes next season and given a chance to show what he is really made of.