3 Cincinnati Bengals who could be traded who aren’t Tee Higgins

Tee Higgins is the apple of everyone's eye on the trading block, but keep an eye on these guys.

Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals
Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Bengals are in a very interesting spot as an organization. Has their Super Bowl window closed? Maybe, as last year was a golden opportunity to get what was theirs. Instead, Joe Burrow got hurt again and they missed the AFC playoffs. While the team will continue to be built around Burrow and his former LSU teammate Ja'Marr Chase, pretty much everybody else could possibly be moved.

The most likely candidate to be dealt this offseason is obvious. That would be No. 2 wide receiver Tee Higgins. Although he was franchise tagged, he has expressed his frustrations and could be on his way out before the 2024 NFL Draft. With Tyler Boyd still a free agent, Cincinnati has plenty of work to do to get its offense right. As far as the defense is concerned, it is where more moves could be had.

This may seem a little counterintuitive because Lou Anarumo is still on Zac Taylor's coaching staff, while former offensive coordinator Brian Callahan now leads the Tennessee Titans. However, some of the Bengals' depth on defense could be a huge boost for them in terms of trade assets. Not all of these guys could be on the trading block like Higgins currently is, but you never really know, do you?

Here are three other Bengals players I think could be had if the right trade offer were to present itself.

3. Dax Hill may have been leapfrogged on the depth chart by Geno Stone

Dax Hill may only be entering his third season out of Michigan with the Bengals, but he might have lost his starting job to the incoming Geno Stone. While Stone is a former Big Ten standout from his time at Iowa, this should have been Hill's job to even begin with. Again, depth is a big part of this Bengals defense, but why is the front office doing so much in free agency to pick up more starters?

To me, it doesn't really make sense, as they tagged safety Jessie Bates III two years ago, only to let him leave in free agency last year for the Atlanta Falcons. While the Bengals continue to have great upside defensively, I am beginning to wonder why they prioritized bringing in veteran free agents like Stone rather than develop their own guys. You will start to see a trend with this throughout this post.

If any player is expendable in the Bengals' secondary, it might be Hill because of his trade value.

2. Myles Murphy may not be able to crack the defensive line rotation

Myles Murphy is only entering his second NFL season out of Clemson, but you have to wonder if he will eventually usurp either Trey Hendrickson or Sam Hubbard in the defensive line rotation. He does have age on his side, as well as being a first-round pick out of a traditional power. However, the Bengals seem to know what they are doing on that side of the ball, so they have some leverage here.

While I would not trade Murphy, I could understand the Bengals potentially moving on from him if the package was compelling enough. Truth be told, I envision him having a sensational sophomore year with Cincinnati, which would make this trade debate a moot pot. However, you have to wonder if the Bengals want to sustain their competitive life cycle by trading away a role player for future picks.

If Murphy were to be traded, it probably is not until midway through his second year with the team.

1. Joseph Ossai is hopelessly buried on the depth chart after last season

Joseph Ossai may need a fresh start. The former Texas standout is best known for his late hit on Patrick Mahomes out of bounds in the 2022 AFC Championship. This helped set up the Chiefs for another home playoff victory at Arrowhead. The Chiefs have won back-to-back Super Bowls, while the Bengals missed out on the playoffs last year. Ossai can help a team's pass rush, but he is buried.

He is even further behind Myles Murphy in the Bengals' incredibly deep defensive line rotation. He is entering his fourth season in the league as well. Given that he may be a free agent next offseason anyway, it may be a good time to sell high on Ossai, relatively speaking, to recoup some assets for the upcoming draft. Keep in mind that Duke Tobin will be adding more players to this team in a month...

If any player not named Tee Higgins is traded by the Bengals this offseason, my money is on Ossai.

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