Bengals Rumors

Bengals Shopping WR John Ross

John Ross reiterated his request to be traded Friday, and the Bengals may be attempting to accommodate the disgruntled deep threat.

The Bengals, who have made Ross a healthy scratch at times this season, have made calls on the fourth-year wide receiver, Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets.

He of a Combine-record 4.22-second 40-yard dash, Ross is listed as questionable with an illness for Sunday’s Bengals-Titans game. Ross disputed this designation, indicating (via Twitter) he is healthy and dissatisfied with his role. Ross has just two catches for 17 yards this season.

Cincinnati has already unloaded Carlos Dunlap after his weeks-long dissatisfaction spree, and the team is covered at wide receiver. The Bengals have used A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd and second-round pick Tee Higgins as their top three wideouts. Auden Tate, who came up in trade rumors after being a healthy scratch earlier this season, also still resides on the Bengals’ roster. Tate is controlled beyond 2020; Ross is not.

Despite the Dunlap deal, however, the Bengals are not known for aggressiveness in trades. The rebuilding team is not willing to deal 11th-year defensive tackle Geno Atkins, and Sirius XM Radio’s Adam Caplan threw cold water on the prospect of a trade. The Bengals would rather let Ross walk in March than deal him now, per Caplan (on Twitter). Teams are interested in Ross, per Caplan, which would make an anti-trade stance rather confusing.

Ross’ injury troubles led the Bengals to pass on his fifth-year option. The ex-Washington Husky, however, has shown intermittent promise. He caught seven touchdown passes in 2018 and surpassed 500 receiving yards in eight games last season. This and his elite speed would make Ross an interesting trade chip ahead of Tuesday’s deadline.

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Bengals Add Quinton Spain To Practice Squad

The Bengals have signed free agent guard Quinton Spain to the practice squad, per a club announcement. To make room on the reserve unit, they released defensive end Kendall Futrell

[RELATED: Bengals Not Planning To Trade Atkins]

The signing was anticipated, though Spain was expected to join the main roster, alongside fellow offensive line newcomer B.J. Finney. Still, it’s possible that a quick promotion is in Spain’s future, after some additional roster juggling.

Spain started every game for the Bills last season, helping their run game transform from one of the NFL’s worst in 2018 to a top-10 attack. The Bills re-signed him to a three-year, $15MM deal in the offseason, only to cut him in October after he was leapfrogged by other guards. All in all, Spain has started 66 career games, working as a first-stringer for the Titans and Bills since 2015.

The Bengals could be making some more moves between now and Tuesday’s deadline, but they reportedly aren’t planning on trading Geno Atkins. Of course, that possibility can’t be ruled out after they traded all-time sack leader Carlos Dunlap.

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Bengals Not Planning To Trade Geno

  • The Bengals traded all-time sack leader Carlos Dunlap to the Seahawks, and teams are wondering if the franchise’s No. 2 all-time sacker (Geno Atkins) is available. Teams have contacted the Bengals on the 11th-year defensive tackle but have been told he is not being traded, Breer notes. Atkins is signed through 2022, and although he has voiced frustration about his role, the Bengals will hang onto the perennial Pro Bowler.

Bengals Expected To Sign G Quinton Spain

The Bengals’ visit with Quinton Spain will likely lead to a signing. The veteran guard has been going through coronavirus testing protocols and is on track to sign with the Bengals, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

This marks a key week for Cincinnati’s offensive line. The Bengals will soon have Spain and B.J. Finney on their roster. They acquired Finney, a former Steelers center, from the Seahawks in Wednesday’s Carlos Dunlap deal.

Spain started every game for the Bills last season, helping their run game transform from one of the NFL’s worst in 2018 to a top-10 attack. The Bills cut Spain this year, however, turning to new guards. Spain has started 66 career games, working as a first-stringer for the Titans and Bills since 2015.

The Bengals have seen Joe Burrow pressured constantly this season. He has taken an NFL-high 28 sacks. Left tackle Jonah Williams, right tackle Bobby Hart and center Trey Hopkins did not practice Wednesday due to injury, creating an even bigger need for the rebuilding team.

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Bengals Trade Carlos Dunlap To Seahawks

First, the Bengals told Carlos Dunlap to stay home. Now, they’re shipping him across the country. The Bengals have agreed to trade defensive end Carlos Dunlap to the Seahawks, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). In exchange for the former Pro Bowler, the Seahawks will send offensive lineman B.J. Finney and an undisclosed draft pick to the Bengals. The Bengals announced the trade.

[RELATED: Lions Beat Out Seahawks For Griffen]

The Seahawks have been in the market for help on the edge, having pursued Cowboys notable Everson Griffen last week. Instead, the Lions beat them to the punch, leading them to talks with Dunlap. The 5-1 Seahawks have been flying high so far this year, but their pressure has been lacking. Now, they have some big-time support to address their weakest unit.

Dunlap has been unhappy with his role in Cincinnati, to say the least. In recent weeks, he’s ripped the Bengals on social media and he’s been seen yelling at his coaches on the sidelines. Dunlap, 32, has been with the Bengals since 2010, making 148 starts between his debut year and 2019. This year, he’s been bumped from the starting lineup with his playing time dropping week after week.

The Bengals probably should have started their rebuild in earnest last year. Instead, they held on to pricey vets like Dunlap and watched their trade value dip significantly. Dunlap likely won’t be the only player traded this week — longtime D-Line partner Geno Atkins also wants a fresh start. On the other side of the ball, speedy wide receiver John Ross continues to push for a trade.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals To Carlos Dunlap: Stay Home

Carlos Dunlap‘s time with the Bengals is running short. On Wednesday, the Bengals told the pass rusher to stay home instead than of joining his teammates in practice (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport).

Dunlap has been unhappy with his role in Cincinnati, and he’s been vocal about it. The Bengals have discussed trades involving the veteran in recent weeks and it sounds like they may pull something together between now and November 3. If they don’t, the Bengals could opt to release him outright.

Cutting Dunlap sometime before the 2021 season would put $11.25MM back on next year’s books. That probably wouldn’t bother defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, who has hardly used the longtime pillar of the Bengals’ D. Dunlap didn’t start in the Week 5 loss to the Ravens and he saw just eleven defensive snaps last week against the Browns.

Lately, Dunlap has been seen arguing with coaches on the sidelines and chirping at team brass on social media. Clearly, both sides are fed up, and a divorce is imminent.

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NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/27/20

We’ll keep track of the practice squad moves from the past day here:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Released: T Jared Hilbers

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

  • Signed: K Austin MacGinnis

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Injury Updates: McCaffrey, Fulton, Carson, Drake

Panthers superstar Christian McCaffrey returned to practice Monday, which is certainly a welcome sign considering he hasn’t been out there since Week 2. While it’s a step in the right direction, it doesn’t mean McCaffrey will be suiting up for Carolina on Thursday Night Football this week. In fact, CMAC is a “long-shot” to play in their division game against the Falcons, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Mike Davis took over as the Panthers’ running back and got off to a hot start, but he’s since cooled off significantly and only had 12 rushing yards yesterday. As such, McCaffrey’s return can’t come quick enough. The Panthers are now 3-4 and desperately need a win over Atlanta if they want to stay in the NFC playoff picture. McCaffrey went down with a high ankle sprain in their Week 2 game against the Bucs and has been sidelined ever since.

Here’s more health updates from around the league:

  • The Titans lost their first game of the season on Sunday, and they also lost a key piece of their defense for a while. Rookie cornerback Kristian Fulton will miss a “few weeks” with a knee injury, according to veteran beat writer Paul Kuharsky (Twitter link). Kuharsky writes that it’s unclear if he’ll go on injured reserve, which would require him to miss at least three games. A second-round pick in April’s draft, Fulton has started the Titans’ last two games after missing one on the COVID-19 list. Tennessee’s secondary has already struggled mightily, so this is an unwelcome development for Mike Vrabel’s unit.
  • The Bengals have already had a tough time blocking for Joe Burrow, and Cincy fans everywhere were holding their breath when starting left tackle Jonah Williams went down with a neck injury yesterday. Fortunately, the “early indications” are that the injury is not “overly serious,” a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Rapsheet says Williams may miss this week, but there is some optimism he could return after their Week 9 bye. The 11th overall pick of the 2019 draft, Williams missed his entire rookie season with a shoulder injury but had played every snap this year before going down.
  • Williams isn’t the only member of the Bengals’ offensive line banged up, as starting right tackle Bobby Hart also got hurt against Cleveland. Hart will miss this weekend’s game against Tennessee, head coach Zac Taylor announced Monday. Hart had also started all seven games this season, and now it looks like Burrow might be without each of his starting tackles this season. Given that he’s already been running for his life in most weeks, this could be a recipe for disaster.
  • The Seahawks also lost their first game of the season Sunday, and now it looks like they’ll be without starting running back Chris Carson for a while. Carson suffered a mid-foot sprain that will leave him week to week, Rapoport tweets. While Carson will apparently miss some time it doesn’t sound like anything too serious, and he shouldn’t be on the shelf too long. Fellow running back Travis Homer also got hurt on Sunday night, and we’re still waiting on an update on him.
  • The Cardinals beat Seattle on Sunday night, but unfortunately the recently signed linebacker Isaiah Irving suffered a serious injury and had to be carted off. Irving suffered a back injury that will likely sideline him for the rest of the season, a source told Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Signed off Denver’s practice squad a couple of weeks ago, Irving was in his first game with the Cards and was only playing on special teams, so this won’t have too much impact on Arizona’s defense. Hopefully Irving is able to make a swift and full recovery.
  • Irving wasn’t the only Cardinal to go down. Starting running back Kenyan Drake hurt his ankle, and he’s going to miss some time. Drake will miss a few weeks with a slight ligament tear in his ankle, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Chase Edmonds, the highly talented change of pace back, will now get a chance to shine in Drake’s absence. Fortunately Arizona has a bye in Week 8, which will reduce the number of games Drake has to miss. Schefter adds that the team is treating the ligament issue essentially like a high ankle sprain.
  • Chargers tight end Virgil Green came down with a crucial touchdown in Los Angeles’ win over the Jaguars, but unfortunately he hurt himself on the play. Green will miss several weeks with a lateral ankle sprain, Rapoport tweets, and he’s a candidate for injured reserve. The Chargers still have Hunter Henry of course, but this is a significant blow as they like to run multiple tight end sets. Second-year UDFA from Stetson Donald Parham also caught a touchdown from Justin Herbert on Sunday, and should be in line for more playing time moving forward. Green, in his third season with the Chargers, has always been more of a blocker than receiver during his ten-year career.

Quinton Spain To Visit Bengals

Shortly after he was released by the Bills, veteran guard Quinton Spain is taking a visit with a new prospective employer. As Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports, the Bengals will be hosting Spain later this week (Twitter link).

Cincinnati’s offensive line has been a disaster, and the team needs to do something to protect rookie signal-caller Joe Burrow, who has looked good in his first professional season, but who has been sacked 19 times through six games. Though Burrow has made some youthful mistakes in holding onto the ball too long on occasion, Football Outsiders’ advanced metrics indicate that the Bengals’ O-line is among the worst in terms of both pass-blocking and run-blocking.

Enter Spain, who has started 66 games at left guard and who has established a reputation of being a strong pass blocker. Though the 29-year-old lost his starting job with Buffalo this year, the Bills did think highly enough of him to give him a three-year, $15MM deal this offseason. Though he may not be a top-tier protector, he would certainly be a welcome addition to the Bengals’ offensive front.

Second-year pro Michael Jordan has played every snap for the club at LG thus far, but he has struggled, particularly in pass-blocking.

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Bengals Looking To Trade Carlos Dunlap

This won’t come as much of a surprise given the tension between player and team, but the Bengals have had active trade talks surrounding defensive end Carlos Dunlap, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com writes. In fact, Dunlap may be deactivated for this afternoon’s game against the Browns so that he doesn’t suffer an injury that would scuttle a potential deal.

Dunlap started Cincinnati’s first four games of the season and played in 75% of the team’s snaps in its Week 4 win over the Jaguars. But he did not start in the Bengals’ Week 5 loss to the Ravens — the first time in years he had not started a game — and he ultimately played in just 46% of the defensive snaps.

The 31-year-old took issue with the fact that head coach Zac Taylor did not talk to him personally about his demotion, and he recently posted the Bengals’ edge rotations on social media, saying “I don’t got time for this” (via Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic on Twitter). With Cincinnati in rebuild mode, it would not be surprising to see them move on from their unhappy pass rusher.

Of course, plenty of pundits and executives believed the Bengals should have been sellers at last year’s trade deadline, but the team elected to stand pat and did not make any moves to add to its draft capital. Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports reports that Cincinnati may do the same this year, with one NFC executive saying the team’s asking prices on its veteran trade candidates are too high.

Jones’ CBS Sports colleague, Jason La Canfora, is also hearing from rival execs that the Bengals’ have unrealistic demands, though there is a sense that a trade is likelier to get done this year than it was last year. Dunlap, as Rapoport suggests, may have already played his last snap as a Bengal, but RapSheet says Geno Atkins and A.J. Green are probably not going anywhere.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.