John Ross isn’t the only Bengals pass-catcher that other NFL franchises have apparently inquired about a trade this offseason.
On former NFL executive Michael Lombardi and Adnan Virk’s podcast The GM Shuffle, Lombardi mentioned that teams have tried to trade for Bengals slot receiver Alex Erickson this offseason.
On latest GM Shuffle, Lombardi mentioned #Falcons WR Mohamed Sanu was subject of some trade discussions earlier this offseason.— Evan Silva (@evansilva) May 8, 2019
Also said teams have inquired about WR Alex Erickson but #Bengals have refused to trade him. https://t.co/MzSZqtoHl8
In a segment regarding potential fantasy breakout receivers, this is what Lombardi had to say about Erickson:
“I think he’s the Cooper Kupp for Andy Dalton. ...They won’t trade this guy. This guy’s a really good player. ...teams have tried to trade for him and they won’t trade him. They won’t trade him. ...I think he’s a really good player.”
For what Lombardi is implying, it appears he thinks as highly of Erickson as the Bengals do.
Realistically, it would be difficult to imagine the Bengals getting any type of compensation that would make trading Erickson worth their time. Despite originally being an undrafted free agent who earned a roster spot back in 2016, Erickson has a place in the Bengals’ wide receiver corps and as a kick returner. While he’s not athletically gifted or immeasurably talented as a receiver, is he worth trading away for a late Day 3 pick? Probably not.
But the praise Lombardi has for Erickson could be warranted if the Zac Taylor-led Bengals are more inclined to use him in the offense. While it’s outlandish on the surface to compare him to Kupp, Erickson’s potential production is higher than the production he’s given in his three years in Cincinnati.
Lombardi mentions the Bengals needing Erickson to be Dalton’s main option in the slot ala Kupp for the Rams’ Jared Goff, but Tyler Boyd should more than suffice. Boyd could take on the flanker role on the outside and allow Erickson to squeeze into the starting lineup, or Erickson could just rotate more with Boyd and keep him fresh. Taylor will have options, that is for sure.
Erickson is entering the first year of his two-year extension he signed last season, and it appears he isn’t leaving Cincinnati before that deal is up.