The idea in a nutshell
After 3 pre-season games, it's safe to say that Trevor Siemian is washed (I fully expect him to be cut). While Jake Browning has made some strides in his development, are we truly comfortable trusting him if Burrow were to miss a few games? While many of us were counting on a Brandon Allen reunion, that ship has now sailed, which may be a blessing in disguise as it's questionable whether he would've truly represented an upgrade.
A casualty of the recent Trey Lance trade, Will Grier will soon be released by the Cowboys. While the 28-year-old former 3rd round pick lacks the prior experience of a Trevor Siemian, he has a rocket for an arm, very good mobility, and has outplayed both of our backups this preseason. If nothing else, he would at least provide some competition for Browning.
As the Bengals aren't the only team with a depleted QB room, Grier's bound to be a hot item on the waiver wire and likely to be claimed by a team with a higher priority. Therefore, if the Bengals are interested, they'll need to be proactive and send the Cowboys a trade proposal.
Alt. 1 - Draft pick
While a 2024 6th in exchange for a 7th (should be more than enough) or 2024 7th round pick (likely no deal if they're bidding against another team more likely to finish lower in the standings) would probably seal the deal, the more appealing option would of course be to send Dallas a player on the chopping block (if Jerry is open to this).
Alt. 2 - DE
Thanks to Randy Gregory's suspension and the looming suspension of Sam Williams, the Cowboys have a real depth issue at DE. This is a great fit for a Bengals team that's stacked with talent at the position and has too many mouths to feed. While we don't know the seriousness of Ossai's injury at this point, even if he starts the season on PUP, due to the numbers game, it's unlikely that Gunter, Johnson III, and Owen Carney all make the final cut. Since there's a good chance that the first two wouldn't make it through waivers (as Johnson produced some really good film this preseason and Gunter is a known quantity), why not try and get something in return?
Alt. 3 - TE
With the departure of Dallas Schultz, the Cowboys are left with a very inexperienced TE room. As both presumed 2nd-year starter Jake Ferguson and 2023 draft pick Luke Schoonmaker are likely to experience some growing pains when it comes to blocking, Dallas could be interested in a blocking TE like Asiasi (well, we can always hope, can't we?).
Alt. 4 - RB
Another option is the loser of the RB competition. The problem here is that Dallas would likely be looking for a power back to complement Pollard, who's an excellent pass catcher. That's not Chris Evans. Maybe that's Trayveon Williams, but since he's currently hurt it really lessens his trade value (forget about dealing Chase Brown, not going to happen!).
If a trade were struck, the Bengals would assume a cap hit of $1.08 million, which is Grier's 2023 salary. Since he becomes a free agent next year, they would need to negotiate a new contract with him if they want to keep him around.
Trading Gunter, Johnson III, or Carney wouldn't free up any additional cap space as their compensation is outside the top 51 contracts. Their contracts would however be attractive to Dallas since most of the compensation is in the form of base salary (Dallas can cut either one at the end of the season with almost no dead cap incurred).
As Asiasi's on a 1-year contract paying a base salary of $1.14 million, he can likewise be traded or cut with no dead cap.
Williams's cap hit is nearly identical to Grier's and since he also becomes a free agent next year, Dallas would be in the same boat as the Bengals.
Evans has a cap hit of $983k this year and $1.1 million next year but like Gunter, since most is in the form of base salary, Dallas could walk away from the contract with virtually no dead cap hit.
Finally, there's Siemian, whose cap hit this year is $1.09 million. If the Bengals cut or trade him, it would free up all but the $152k signing bonus.
A trade for a draft pick would have virtually no effect on the Bengals' salary cap (they would gain $1.01 million from cutting Siemian but assume Grier's $1.08 million cap hit).
A trade involving Asiasi, Williams, or Evans would be cap-space accretive and free up around $1 million. Since the other players' compensation is outside the top 51, they don't count towards the cap (and therefore the trade would just be cap-space neutral).
Let me know your thoughts. Should they be proactive and try to make a deal for No Fear Grier? If so, what would you be willing to offer Dallas? If not, do you think a better QB will fall to the Bengals and, if so, who?