Despite selecting offensive tackles with both their first- and second-round picks, the Bengals don’t plan to trade either Andrew Whitworth or Andre Smith, reports Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. The veterans comprise Cincinnati’s incumbent tackle duo, and while the club has discussed the possibility of dealing one (or perhaps both), Hobson describes such internal talks as “pie-in-the-sky-what-if exercises.”
Both the 33-year-old Whitworth and the 28-year-old Smith are set to become unrestricted free agents following the 2015 season. Given that the Bengals drafted both Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher last month, it makes sense that the team could look into trading one of the two veterans. However, Ogbuehi is still recovering from a torn ACL, while Cincinnati hopes to use Fisher as a versatile reserve who could potentially backup all five spots along the line, so keeping both Whitworth and Smith for 2015 might be best for the development of the two rookies.
As Hobson notes, the Broncos and Giants are among the clubs who could be interested in dealing for one Cincinnati’s tackles (Whitworth, a left tackle, would probably be the best fit for both teams). Denver’s Ryan Clady will miss the entire season after tearing his ACL earlier this week, while New York lost Will Beatty for at least the first half of the season after he tore his pectoral.
It’s also possible that the Bengals have interest in retaining either Whitworth or Smith beyond 2015. As I wrote last week when assessing the chances of an extension between Cincinnati and Whitworth, Smith is probably going to be the odd one out among the front five after this season, but a short pact for Whitworth is entirely possible.