Could The Bengals Be A Potential Trade Partner?

It is pretty likely that the St. Louis Rams will end up selling the second pick of the 2012 NFL Draft to the highest bidder. There are multiple teams out there that are willing to pay for him… and I imagine they are willing to pay a lot. For this reason, over the past few days, there have been various articles claiming that the Vikings win over the Redskins in late December may have been the costliest in Vikings history because it moved the Rams up to the number 2 spot (as well as caused a major injury to Adrian Peterson). There have also been articles claiming that the Vikings won’t likely have many interested in trading with them at the third spot if RGIII is off the board.

While I would agree that if Griffin is taken with the #2 pick (which is very likely) there will be less interest in the third pick, I do believe that there is still opportunity for a trade to happen. And here’s a good reason/example:

After exchanging words with an executive of the Cincinnati Bengals, Bear Heiser, a writer for the National Football Authority, learned that the Bengals are interested in moving up in the first round to acquire the #1 running back in the draft, Trent Richardson. The Bengals took great strides towards creating a high powered offense last season with the addition of wide receiver A.J. Green and quarterback Andy Dalton. The addition of a back like Richardson could really make the Bengals offense one to fear for many years to come. Cedric Benson is also a free agent and may not be back with the Bengals next season – making the need for a running back even greater.

So, who would the Bengals trade with? Well, Bear Heiser also reported that the same team executive he spoke with also told him the Bengals have had talks with the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals currently have the 13th pick in the draft.

I don’t think Trent Richardson will make it to the 13th pick in the draft.

Despite Richardson’s injury concerns and the fact that he did not participate at the combine, he is still in the top 5 on many draft boards and it is uncommon for a top 5 player to fall that low in the draft. And while there aren’t many teams really in need of a running back this year, the Cleveland Browns are and they currently sit at #4 (unless they end up trading with the Rams to get Griffin).

If anyone other than the Browns ends up trading with the Rams to select Robert Griffin (or, in other words, if the Browns remain at the 4th spot and RGIII is off the board), it is very likely the Browns could select Richardson. Peyton Hillis is set to become a free agent this year and the feeling out there is that he will not be back with the Browns next season (or even in the NFL considering the recent retirement/CIA rumors). This means that if the Bengals really, really want Trent Richardson, they could have to move up above the Browns, to the #3 spot, in order to obtain him.

And if you haven’t put it together yet… What team sits at the #3 spot? Yep…

While it’s a stretch, crazier things have happened on draft day. Because the Bengals have two first round picks this year (due to the Carson Palmer trade) they may be more willing to move around a bit if they feel Richardson is their guy. And hey, all this speculation is strictly for our entertainment anyway. It’s what makes the NFL draft so fun and exciting.

Then, the question becomes, if the trade offer is there, do the Vikings take it or do they stick with Matt Kalil and anchor down the left tackle position for years to come?

Hurry up and get here already, April!