The addition of external veterans has been critical in the Cincinnati Bengals’ turnaround from NFL bottom-feeder to upstart contender. It’s been one of the more refreshing changes in Cincinnati brought by Zac Taylor’s hiring.
Taylor and the Bengals’ personnel department have not been hesitant to improve the roster by any means necessary. Beyond traditional free agency, they’ve made three for-player trades since September of 2020. One of them netted them defensive tackle B.J. Hill, who’s been an impact player for their fifth-ranked defense per Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric.
Cincinnati’s aggression in this regard has not stopped them from establishing a culture amongst its player base. With the 2021 trade deadline approaching, Taylor was asked Wednesday if he’s worried any potential trades may impact that culture.
“I have not had those concerns just in general,” Taylor said. “Whether it’s free agents that are on the street or whatever because our guys do a good job of taking them under their wings and making them a part of the group. I’ve seen some guys walk in the door and they’ve got a smile on their face after the first day because they see an environment where guys are working hard but they’re enjoying the process. I just think our locker room has a good culture and they do a good job of welcoming players in whatever way, shape or form we add them.”
For Bengals fans who want the team to add a player or two at the deadline, this is good news. NFL trades are becoming slightly more common, but they usually involve teams in strong positions to contend. At 5-2, the Bengals fit the bill there.
As Paul Brown once said, winning makes believers of us all. So long as Taylor and Co. produce positive results on the field, the locker room will continue to buy in to his decisions, even if that means shaking up the roster in the middle of a successful season.
The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday, November 2nd at 4:00 p.m. EST.