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How the Bengals can be buyers and sellers at trade deadline

A trade deadline guide to success for the 2-5-1 Bengals.

Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Changes on the Cincinnati Bengals’ coaching staff are unlikely to happen after the team beat the previously 5-1 Tennessee Titans by 11 points. 2-5-1 is an interesting record to have at the midseason point because a push towards a winning season is almost as achievable as a fall towards the top of the NFL Draft order.

Major changes should be made to this roster in the offseason, and the Carlos Dunlap trade was only the beginning, so why not get started on that process now? The Bengals need to continue showcasing growth in the wins column while also getting draft capital in return for players that aren’t in their future plans.

With the trade deadline just over a day away, here are a few players the Bengals should trade for and trade away:


Trent Murphy, EDGE, Buffalo Bills: After being made a healthy scratch in Week 6, ESPN NFL insider Dan Graziano reported that Murphy was being shopped by the Bills. Murphy responded by putting together a two-sack performance against the New York Jets in Week 7. If he’s still available, the Bengals should give their old pals in Buffalo a call.

Takkarist McKinley, EDGE, Atlanta Falcons: The former first-round pick from 2017 was benched before Atlanta’s Thursday night game this past week and is expected to be traded before the deadline. McKinney had a promising start to his career but a groin injury has derailed his 2020 season. A change of scenery and sure-fire opportunity could benefit the 25-year old pass rusher.

Pierre Desir, CB, New York Jets: Everyone in the Jets’ secondary is apparently available, and while Desir isn’t a great player by any means, he can probably be had with a late-round pick and give the Bengals much needed depth at the cornerback position.

Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants: The Bengals have been using a decent amount of two-tight end sets in their offense even without C.J. Uzomah, so Engram would have value even with Drew Sample emerging as a starter. Engram just isn’t producing in the Giants’ offense right now and is too talented to be wasting away in New York.


John Ross: There’s little point in keeping Ross around any longer. The speedster is physically capable of producing, but he’s just not happy in Cincinnati and with this organization. His Bengals career has featured many downs and few ups, but speed will always have a price. The Bengals need to get what they can for him before it’s too late.

Shawn Williams: The eight-year veteran has a captain’s patch on his jersey for a reason, but on the field, what does he do that Brandon Wilson or practice squad player Trayvon Henderson can’t? Williams had logged just 47 defensive snaps in five games entering Week 8. He may not be worth much with one year remaining on his contract, but the Bengals should see what kind of market he has.

Billy Price: We published an article stating that the Bengals should trade Price right before the deadline. Based on Zac Taylor’s comments on the former first-round pick, it doesn’t seem like Price is going anywhere. Nevertheless, Price has the most value for any offensive linemen they could deal away now that Quinton Spain and B.J. Finney are on the team and Xavier Su’a-Filo is close to returning. He’ll soon return to the bench if the Bengals hold onto him, so they might as well see what he’s worth to other teams.