On today's Locked on Bengals podcast, I discussed the offseason and why the Bengals had to be aggressive in free agency. I also said they needed to trade for established players. A few hours later they traded for Buffalo Bills left tackle Cordy Glenn. Here are my thoughts on the Bengals trade:
1. Mike Brown stepped out of his comfort zone! – How many times have we said the Bengals don't make splashy moves in the offseason? Just when you thought it was going to be business as usual, they trade for a pro bowl caliber left tackle. Glenn is under contract for three more seasons. He will make $11.3 million in 2018, $9.3 million in 2019 and $9.5 million in 2020. He has had some injury issues, but the Bengals could cut him after the 2018 season and wouldn't owe him any money. Brown deserves credit where credit is due. This is a weak draft class for first round offensive tackles. There's one very good left tackle expected to hit free agency – Nate Solder, who's expected to command $12-13 million per year and is three years older than Glenn. The Bengals take on salary, but it's a reasonable amount compared to high end free agent left tackles.
2. The Bengals might've traded back anyway. – Based on who I've talked to about the 2018 draft class, I expected the Bengals to trade back and take an offensive tackle in the first round. They traded back today and they know who their starting left tackle is in 2018. Instead of hoping a rookie can step in and perform, they get a proven player who can help them now. The Bengals traded the No. 12 pick and the No. 190 pick to the Bills for Glenn, the No. 21 pick and the No. 158 pick in April's draft.
Moving back nine spots changes things some, but clearly they felt like they could get a quality player at that position. It puts them in a spot to take the best player available. Maybe that's a center like James Daniels from Iowa or a guard like Isaiah Wynn from Georgia. They could and should also consider other positions. I expect them to look at linebacker and maybe even quarterback. I know they believe in Andy Dalton, but they need a backup quarterback. Would it shock you if Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen or another high end quarterback fell to the 21st pick? The Bengals added an established player on an offensive line that was desperate. They did so without losing any picks and gave themselves more flexibility in the draft. Glenn was great for Buffalo from 2013-2016 – he did deal with a few injuries last season that kept him off the field and hurt his overall grade.
3. Could the Bengals turn a weakness into a strength? – The Bengals now have two established pieces on their offensive line – Glenn and Clint Boling. They have plenty of cap space and should consider adding a right tackle and/or a center in free agency. Cameron Fleming from New England and Chris Hubbard from Pittsburgh should be on their radar. They're both expected to hit free agency. I wrote about them in my offseason plan. They could also consider trading for Ja'Wuan James, who is in the final year of his contract with Miami. Adding veteran left and right tackles in their prime would do wonders for the Bengals in 2018. It would also give them plenty of flexibility in the draft.
This draft is deep at center and at guard. They should be able to get a starting center with one of their two picks in the third round. It's hard to completely overhaul an offensive line in one offseason, but if they were willing to trade for Glenn, then they may be willing to go all in to improve the line.
I will have more on Glenn, trade reaction and what's next for the team on Tuesday's Locked on Bengals podcast.
The Bengals should call the Browns about a trade.
Thoughts on the Bengals declining Adam Jones' option.
Josh Rosen is my favorite quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Check out my offseason plan for the Bengals.
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