The Cincinnati Bengals have given no indication they plan to trade wide receiver A.J. Green before the Oct. 29 deadline.
Now, this is when we remind you the Jacksonville Jaguars said the same thing about Jalen Ramsey, only to turn around and trade the All-Pro cornerback to the Los Angeles Rams this week for two first-round draft picks (2020, 2021) and a fourth-rounder (2021).
It wouldn’t be shocking if the Bengals follow in the Jaguars’ footsteps and change course. Cincinnati is winless (0-6), Green is set to become a free agent after this season and there are several contenders who could use a legitimate No. 1 receiver. A trade actually makes a lot of sense if the Bengals don’t anticipate re-signing Green this offseason and a decent market materializes over the next couple of weeks.
But what could the Bengals realistically expect in return for Green, a 31-year-old wideout who has battled multiple injuries over the past few seasons?
“Considering the recent injury history, I think (Cincinnati) can fetch a second-round pick for him,” an NFL personnel evaluator told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, according to a piece published Friday on ESPN.com.
Here’s more from Fowler:
A few other personnel people agreed, adding teams can always sweeten a deal with a fourth-to-fifth-round swap for future years. But the consensus is he’s not a first-round player right now unless a team gets aggressive (watch: The Rams will blow this thinking out of the water, offering three 1s and conditional Les Snead hair product).
A second-round pick seems like a rather steep price all things considered. Sure, Green, when healthy, has been one of the best wide receivers in football since being drafted fourth overall by the Bengals in 2011. But he has missed 19 games (and counting) since 2016, including all six of Cincinnati’s games this season with an ankle injury. He hasn’t practiced since July, and it’s unclear exactly when he’ll return to action.
Plus, this is the Bengals we’re talking about. They’re typically averse to making splashy moves. Perhaps they’ll simply hang onto Green in the hopes of re-signing him. Cincinnati at least will land a future third-round compensatory draft pick if he walks in free agency.
Green, a two-time Second-Team All-Pro, averaged about 79 catches for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns during a seven-season stretch from 2011 to 2017. He totaled 46 receptions for 694 yards with six TDs in nine games last season, during which he battle toe issues.
Thumbnail photo via Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports Images