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Xavien Howard trade suggestion floated for Bengals

Could the Cincinnati Bengals improve their weakest area before the trade deadline?

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Las Vegas Raiders Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals have two great cornerbacks in Trae Waynes and Chidobe Awuzie. Behind those two, the waters get murky. On top of that, both have missed games this season with injuries.

Quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers have exposed Cincinnati this year. With a terrific pass rush and great linebacker play, the Bengals' defense has exploded onto the scene. They’re arguably one of the best defenses in the AFC.

However, to compete with teams like Buffalo and Kansas City, they may need to get even better. The Bengals rank 13th in opponent’s passing yards per game. Finally competent everywhere else on the field, improving their depth there is of utmost importance.

If they can knock off the Ravens and go 5-2 through 7, the Bengals could and potentially should make an all-in trade for Miami’s Xavien Howard. Howard is one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL.

Here’s an excerpt of what Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox wrote on a potential Howard-to-Bengals deal.

“While the Bengals are solid on both offense and defense—they rank fifth in points allowed, tied for 10th in scoring—they could stand to bolster a defense ranked 13th in passing yards per game allowed. Adding 2020 All-Pro Xavien Howard, for example, could add even more punch to the back end,” Knox wrote.

The trade he suggested would send back a 2022 first-round pick and a 2022 fifth-round pick. With Miami having dealt their 2022 first to Philadelphia, they’re in desperation mode, especially after being exposed to start the season, losing to the winless Jags last week.

Howard is a two-time Pro Bowler and has also been elected to the NFL’s All-Pro roster. He’s that good, and he’s just 28 years old. The Bengals have an offense capable of competing with the best in the NFL.

Adding Howard would strengthen a unit that will be questionable when taking on top-tier opponents. This would be a win-win trade, and one that may boost the Bengals to truly contend for the first time in years.