Bengals’ Trey Hendrickson Requests Trade

8:19pm: Hendrickson and the Bengals discussed a new extension in March, but those talks resulted in the team deciding against any adjustments, Dehner and Jeff Howe report (subscription required). Cincinnati has also conveyed to Hendrickson that no trade considerations will be made at this time.

Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer adds the former Saint still desires to continue his Bengals career on a deal providing him more security. Notably, however, she also reports Hendrickson is “not ruling out retirement” in the event no agreement can be worked out. Further developments on either front in this situation will be worth watching closely.

4:39pm: In the absence of a new deal, Bengals wideout Tee Higgins is known to be seeking a trade sending him elsewhere. The same is now true of edge rusher Trey Hendrickson.

The latter is aiming to be dealt, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. Hendrickson has two years remaining on his contract, but Schefter notes the Bengals have not been willing to meet his asking price on a new deal. Cincinnati will now have an interesting decision to make in this case on the eve of the draft. To no surprise, though, Paul Dehner of The Athletic adds the team has no intention of working out a trade.

Hendrickson joined the Bengals on a four-year, $60MM deal in 2021. He has proven to be a highly impactful member of the team’s front seven since then, earning a Pro Bowl nod in each of the past three years. Despite this past season not representing a walk year, team and player agreed to a one-year extension in July. That pact set Hendrickson up with a $5MM raise for the 2023 campaign and base salaries of $14.8MM and $15.8MM over the next two years.

Neither of those figures are guaranteed, though, and this news come as Hendrickson eyes another round of adjustments to his deal regarding up-front compensation. As Schefter’s colleague Jeremy Fowler notes, the 29-year-old has missed Bengals offseason workouts in each of the past two seasons amidst unrest regarding his deal. Hendrickson has posted 39.5 sacks in his tenure with Cincinnati, including a career-high 17.5 last season. The latter figure placed him a tie for second in the league.

In spite of Hendrickson’s success, the Bengals ranked just 17th in the league in sack production (the team’s second-leading rusher, Sam Hubbard, totaled six sacks). While that showcases the former third-rounder’s importance to Cincinnati, it could explain the team’s hesitancy in making a second long-term investment in him. In any case, the Bengals will be a team to watch closely as the rest of the offseason unfolds.

Despite the trade request, Higgins expects to play out the 2024 season in Cincinnati on the franchise tag. Provided the Bengals follow through on retaining Hendrickson, he too will be a key figure in the team’s efforts to return to the postseason this campaign. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see if a notable draft addition is made along the edge this weekend with Hendrickson’s financial status still representing a potential issue.

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