All indications are that the Cincinnati Bengals are going with Joe Burrow at No. 1 in Thursday’s NFL Draft. He’s going to represent the future of the franchise, but he can’t do it alone.
The Bengals have done an adequate job at stacking the defense in free agency, but offensively, the most they’ve done is retain A.J. Green. Getting Burrow a bit more help would be ideal, and a prime trade candidate was basically just put on the market.
With Rob Gronkowski now in Tampa Bay, there’s no good reason for the Bucs to hang onto O.J. Howard. According to The Athletic’s Michael Lombardi, a league source said that the Bucs are trying to trade Howard.
This was before the team announced the deal that would bring the former All-Pro Gronkowski to reunite with Tom Brady. Now, with a superstar 30-year-old tight end, there’s no more reason for the team to hang onto Howard.
The Bengals are in a prime position to, at the very least, offer the team that will undoubtedly be looking to add talent around Brady.
The Bucs gave up a fourth-round pick for Gronk, and the Bengals should be willing to depart with a late-round pick for Howard.
However, the price for Howard is relatively unknown, but the massive 6-foot-6 target shouldn't be overly expensive given that the team likely won’t want to pay his fifth-year option anyway.
That said, after losing Tyler Eifert this season and being left with Drew Sample and C.J. Uzomah, who combined for under 300 receiving yards last season, the need is obvious. With plenty of talent defensively and only a few more crucial needs, the Bengals are in an ideal position to feast on a trade-hungry Bucs team.