Trey Hendrickson

Trey Hendrickson Participating In Bengals’ Workouts; DE Addresses Contract Status

News came out of a Trey Hendrickson trade request one night before the opening round of the 2024 draft. The Pro Bowl edge rusher is seeking additional guarantees on his pact, which has two years remaining.

Neither the 2024 nor ’25 campaigns currently have guaranteed salaries scheduled. Hendrickson and the Bengals worked out a revision last offseason which upped his 2023 earnings and added $16MM in compensation for 2025. Coming off a career year, though, the 29-year-old met with the team to negotiate another top-up this March.

Talks on that front did not produce a deal, and Cincinnati made it clear to Hendrickson a trade would not be given consideration. Once the draft was over, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor confirmed the former Saints sack artist would remain with the team for 2024, something Hendrickson’s recent actions further point toward.

The former third-rounder is in attendance for the Bengals’ voluntary offseason workouts, an approach which runs counter to that which many other players employ while in the midst of a contract dispute. Hendrickson is still seeking a deal moving him closer to the top of the pecking order amongst edge rushers, but when speaking about his situation he noted the organization has been “transparent and respectful” in dealing with him. The FAU product also made it known he prefers to continue his career in Cincinnati.

“This is where separating business and the team is difficult. At what point am I contradicting what I want?” Hendrickson said (via the team’s website). “Long-term, winning games, all those things are what I want to do here in Cincinnati and removing myself from the team doesn’t help the team.”

Hendrickson notched 17.5 sacks last season, one in which he earned a third consecutive Pro Bowl nod. Across his three-year tenure in Cincinnati, he has racked up 39.5 sacks, cementing his status as one of the league’s top edge rushers. The $21MM AAV of his current deal ranks 11th at the position, however, which helps explain his desire for a raise (or assurances from the Bengals in terms of up front compensation). Regardless of how Hendrickson’s contract situation plays out, he is aiming to be able to rescind his trade request and remain with the team for years to come.

“My mindset is to win a Super Bowl and I think we’ve got the quarterback and the pieces to do it,” he added. “I want to be here a long time. I want to win football games and I want to bring a Super Bowl to Cincinnati.”

Bengals HC Zac Taylor Addresses Trey Hendrickson’s Trade Request

On the eve of the draft, it was learned Bengals edge rusher Trey Hendrickson has requested a trade. At the heart of the issue is not a desire to find a new team but rather one for an adjustment to his contract, a pact which has two years years remaining.

Neither of Hendrickson’s bases salaries in 2024 and ’25 are guaranteed, and the three-time Pro Bowler is seeking a firm up front commitment from Cincinnati. Recent contract talks did not produce a new agreement (unlike last offseason), however, and team and player know where each other stand in this case. Following the draft, head coach Zac Taylor spoke about the matter.

“You let Trey voice his concerns. I’m listening. I’ve got an open ear to him,” Taylor said (via Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic). “I love Trey. I’ve told Trey that. We want Trey to play here next year for us. He’s gonna play here next year for us. He’s gonna have success, and we’re gonna have success and I’m excited for that.”

Indeed, Cincinnati has made it clear to Hendrickson the team will not seek out a trade partner. The 29-year-old thus faces the possibility of a training camp holdout or playing out the 2024 season as his contract is currently constructed. A short-term solution came about with a $5MM raise in 2023, and it will be interesting to see if a similar approach is used depending on how this situation develops over the coming weeks.

Regardless of Hendrickson’s stance, the Bengals’ lack of sack production led many to name edge rush as a position of need during the draft. Cincinnati filled a number of holes – including at right tackle and defensive line – but the team’s only investment at the defensive end spot was sixth-rounder Cedric Johnson. He will be counted on as a rotational option during his rookie year with Sam Hubbard and Hendrickson in place as starters. Based on Taylor’s stance, the latter can still be expected to be in the 2024 lineup.

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.

Bengals Extend DE Trey Hendrickson

Trey Hendrickson was not entering a contract year, but the Bengals will push the defensive end’s current agreement into an additional season anyway. The team announced Hendrickson’s deal, via a one-year add-on, now runs through 2025.

The former Saints draftee signed a four-year, $60MM deal in 2021 and has become an impact player for the Bengals. This agreement will likely provide more guaranteed money for Hendrickson, and it stands to create some cap space for Cincinnati this year. The deal will indeed raise Hendrickson’s 2023 payout,’s Ian Rapoport tweets. ESPN’s Field Yates tweets that Hendrickson will earn $21MM in new money, including a $5MM raise this year and a $16MM payout in 2025 (2024 remains unchanged).

Hendrickson’s initial Cincy contract includes a $15.5MM 2023 cap number and a $17.5MM 2024 cap hit. Conversations about a new deal took place last year, per The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr., and an unexpected resolution emerged. With Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson and Justin Herbert having signed, the final QB extension domino resides in Cincinnati.

Joe Burrow and the Bengals have been in talks for months on an extension that almost definitely will make the former No. 1 overall pick the NFL’s highest-paid player. The Bengals also have Tee Higgins and Logan Wilson going into contract years. This Hendrickson agreement should help on these fronts.

Hurts, Jackson and Herbert each raised the AAV bar this offseason, with the Chargers quarterback setting it at $52.5MM on his Tuesday extension. It will be interesting if Burrow aims to create a bit of a gap between himself and the field, seeing as he has quarterbacked the Bengals to back-to-back AFC championship games — a franchise first — and changed the trajectory of a previously downtrodden team. Mike Brown has mentioned the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes model as a potential target, but no QB extension since has followed that path. Mahomes signed a 10-year, $450MM Kansas City extension in 2020, but only one passer since — Josh Allen — has even committed to six years.

As for Hendrickson, he has shown his Saints contract year was no fluke. After not producing much during his first three seasons, the former third-round pick totaled 13.5 sacks in 2020. He collected 14.5 sacks in his Bengals debut, adding 3.5 more during the team’s run to Super Bowl LVI. Last season, Hendrickson finished with eight sacks and 24 QB hits.

Although this agreement will increase Hendrickson’s 2023 earnings, it is interesting Florida Atlantic alum would sign off on pushing a $15MM-per-year contract beyond its previous endpoint. The edge rusher market will continue to rise, especially after Nick Bosa‘s upcoming extension, and Hendrickson could have increased his leverage by entering a contract year in 2024. A 2025 free agency trip could have certainly been lucrative, assuming Cincinnati’s top pass rusher keeps up his current pace. Hendrickson is now tied to the Bengals through his age-31 season.

Then again, Hendrickson was tied to a nonguaranteed 2024 payment and would have turned 30 before a potential free agency bid anyway. Now, the productive pass rusher — whose 2021 deal included just $16MM fully guaranteed — will pick up more cash while still in his prime.

Bengals Set To Face Challenge To Young Culture

The Bengals have established a pattern in recent years that show they prize youth and tend not to sign players to third contracts. After past days of paying staples like Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, and A.J. Green, Cincinnati has flipped gears, allowing such mainstays as C.J. Uzomah, Vonn Bell, and Giovani Bernard to walk in favor of younger players. Center Ted Karras is the only starter currently in his 30s, and backups safety Michael Thomas and quarterback Trevor Siemian are the only others on the roster older than him.

This newfound aversion to paying players into their 30s will be put to the test in the next two years, according to Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic. Next year will be a contract year for cornerback Chidobe Awuzie, wide receiver Tyler Boyd, and defensive tackle D.J. Reader, all currently wrapping up their second contracts. The following offseason will see the pending free agency of defensive end Trey Hendrickson, as well. If recent tradition holds true, none of the four would don striped helmets in 2025. These four present a great challenge to the Bengals’ young philosophy.

Perhaps projecting this exact philosophy, Cincinnati used three draft picks on these positions, selecting pass rusher Myles Murphy in the first round, cornerback DJ Turner II in the second round, and wide receiver Charlie Jones in the fourth round. Jones doesn’t quite have the size to be an eventual replacement for Boyd, but Murphy and Turner seem like clear attempts to bolster the future at those two positions.

You’ll notice Reader didn’t have a possible replacement drafted. Dehner asserts that of all the aging players, Reader stands the best chance of returning on a third contract. Ever since arriving from Houston, Reader has played at another level for the Bengals. He’s a captain and the spirit of the team’s defense. Dehner asserts that the benefits of milking every last ounce of football talent out of Reader outweigh the risks of taking on a portion of his eventual decline. The Bengals may need some convincing, though, as interior defensive linemen rarely display top play into their 30s. Reader turns 29 at the turn of this month.

Hendrickson likely holds the spot as the next most-likely candidate for a third contract. An underrated addition when he came over from New Orleans, Hendrickson has been nothing short of a star in Cincinnati. He followed up an impressive contract year as a Saint with two straight Pro Bowl seasons, including one with 14.0 sacks. Hendrickson turns 29 this December, meaning the Saints will have to consider whether to bring him back for any of his 30s next offseason. Truly talented pass rushers are hard to come by, so if Hendrickson performs to his usual potential, it should be an easy decision for the Bengals. Any injuries or setbacks in production, though, could put his future with the team in jeopardy.

Of course, this is all purely academic as of right now. The Bengals recent moves could all be coincidental, or they could be working on a case-by-case basis with none yet meeting the requirements necessary to reach a third contract. Regardless, Reader, Hendrickson, Boyd, and Awuzie are all headed towards that eventual consideration. Will they be the first to buck the team’s recent trends or will Cincinnati’s roster continue to be one of the youngest in the league?

AFC Rumors: Ravens, Collins, Bengals, Henry

Ravens defensive lineman Calais Campbell missed Sunday’sgame against the Falcons as he continues to deal with a knee injury suffered a week prior in the team’s loss to Cleveland, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Yesterday’s absence was only his second of the season, an impressive showing for the 36-year-old who has showed a consistent sturdiness for his entire career.

The wording of Fowler’s tweet was a bit unclear. He stated that “Campbell could miss some time” due to the injury, which could be interpreted as a potential extended absence for the defensive leader. Fowler’s tweet, which came earlier this week, also questioned the status of this week’s game against the Falcons, indicating that perhaps the uncertainty of “could miss some time” was not pointed towards how much time he may miss but if he would miss time at all. Regardless, Campbell sat out Saturday’s game and, after the team clinched a playoff spot with a win, he may be able to take a little extra time to rest up for a postseason run.

The team also played without rookie outside linebacker David Ojabo yesterday. Nine months after a torn Achilles injury, Ojabo finally made his NFL debut against the Browns last week, playing one defensive snap and four special teams snaps. He wasn’t listed on the team’s injury report, but whatever Ojabo is dealing with, he returned back to the inactive list this week.

Here are a few other injury rumors from around the AFC, starting with two division rival players in Cincinatti:

  • Bengals tackle La’el Collins left Saturday’s win over the Patriots with a knee injury, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Reportedly, initial concerns were about an ACL injury, but the ligament is believed to be intact. The new understanding is that Collins’ kneecap shifted out and then back into place, resulting in the significant pain that required him to leave the game. More tests will follow to determine the severity of Collins’ knee injury.
  • Bengals pass rusher Trey Hendrickson started yesterday for the Cincinnati defense despite his broken wrist and likely plans to continue to start for the remainder of the season, according to Paul Dehner of The Athletic. Hendrickson reportedly confirmed that his wrist is broken but explained that “multiple doctors” told him that the injury cannot worsen. He has the ability to play through the injury with no need of a club; he will have full hand and finger mobility. As long as Hendrickson can manage and play through the pain, he will be able to continue contributing to the AFC North leaders.
  • Patriots tight end Hunter Henry left Saturday’s loss with a knee injury after only one drive, according to the team’s official Twitter account. Henry was unable to contribute to the box score before leaving. Henry, who has dealt with multiple knee injuries over his career, is considered day-to-day and will undergo further tests this week. If Henry misses any time, veteran tight end Jonnu Smith would be the next man in line for snaps. Unfortunately, Smith exited yesterday’s game with a concussion, so he, too, will have some work to do to play next week. If neither player can go when the team hosts the Dolphins next week, New England may have to turn to practice squad receiver Scotty Washington who is sometimes listed at tight end, as well.

Bengals DE Trey Hendrickson Suffers Broken Wrist

DECEMBER 13: When speaking to the media about Hendrickson’s injury, head coach Zac Taylor did not rule him out for the team’s Week 15 matchup against the Buccaneers. He added that an IR stint (which would require at least a four-week absence) will not be forthcoming, meaning the Bengals are optimistic that a quick recovery will take place.

DECEMBER 11: The surging Bengals took a big hit today when their leading pass rusher, Trey Hendrickson, suffered a broken wrist during today’s win over the Browns, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Despite the injury, Hendrickson finished the game, ensuring a win for the Bengals.

Hendrickson currently leads the team in both sacks and quarterback hits with six and 22, respectively. Hendrickson combines with starting defensive end Sam Hubbard to form one the league’s more pressuring duos. Between the two, they total 11.5 sacks, 39 quarterback hits, and 16 tackles for loss. While Hendrickson’s pace of sack production has been slower than last season’s 14-sack performance, he is still a leader on Cincinnati’s defense and will be a tough player to replace.

Despite Hendrickson playing through the injury today, most believe the injury will hold him out for a few weeks. Without Hendrickson, the Bengals will turn to Joseph Ossai. A third-round pick who missed his rookie season with a meniscus injury last year, Ossai has done a decent job in relief work behind Hendrickson and Hubbard this season. Ossai has racked up two sacks, two tackles for loss, and five quarterback hits despite only playing about 25% of the team’s defensive snaps.

Cincinnati also rosters Cameron Sample and Jeff Gunter, who could be available to rush the passer in Hendrickson’s absence. The Bengals will hope to see Hendrickson return to play in time for late-season matchups against the Bills and Ravens that could very well decide the AFC North.

Largest 2022 Cap Hits: Defense

After looking at this year’s top salary cap numbers on the offensive side of the ball, here is a rundown of the players counting the most toward their teams’ payrolls in 2022.

As could be expected, the salary figures here start below the quarterbacks. A few pass rushers, however, are tied to notable cap hits. Those numbers that check in within the top 20 leaguewide regardless of position. With the exception of true nose tackles and pure slot cornerbacks, every defensive position is represented here.

Here are the top cap figures on the defensive side for the ’22 season:

  1. T.J. Watt, OLB (Steelers): $31.12MM
  2. Chris Jones, DT (Chiefs): $29.42MM
  3. Joey Bosa, OLB (Chargers): $28.25MM
  4. Leonard Williams, DL (Giants): $27.3MM
  5. Aaron Donald, DT (Rams): $27MM
  6. Jalen Ramsey, CB (Rams): $23.2MM
  7. Deion Jones, LB (Falcons): $20.1MM
  8. Bud Dupree, OLB (Titans): $19.2MM
  9. Justin Simmons, S (Broncos): $18.85MM
  10. Javon Hargrave, DT (Eagles): $17.8MM
  11. C.J. Mosley, LB (Jets): $17.5MM
  12. Cameron Heyward, DL (Steelers): $17.42MM
  13. Robert Quinn, DE (Bears): $17.14MM
  14. Matt Judon, OLB (Patriots): $16.5MM
  15. DeForest Buckner, DT (Colts): $16MM
  16. Shaquill Griffin, CB (Jaguars): $16.44MM
  17. Tre’Davious White, CB (Bills): $16.4MM
  18. J.J. Watt, DL (Cardinals): $15.9MM
  19. Marcus Peters, CB (Ravens): $15.5MM
  20. Carl Lawson, DE (Jets): $15.33MM
  21. Eddie Jackson, S (Bears): $15.1MM
  22. Lavonte David, LB (Buccaneers): $14.79MM
  23. Budda Baker, S (Cardinals): $14.78MM
  24. Romeo Okwara, DE (Lions): $14.5MM
  25. Trey Hendrickson, DE (Bengals): $14.49MM
  • Illustrating how much the cap has climbed over the past several seasons, T.J. Watt is tied to a number nearly twice that of J.J. Watt, who has been tied to $16.7MM-per-year (a defender-record number in 2014) and $14MM-AAV deals as a pro. Trailing his older brother in Defensive Player of the Year honors, T.J. is signed to an edge defender-record $28MM-per-year accord.
  • Jones’ four-year Chiefs deal vaults from an $8.5MM cap number in 2021 to the league’s second-highest defensive figure this year. The standout defensive tackle’s cap hit accompanies Patrick Mahomes‘ $35.79MM number, which is well north of his 2021 figure, on Kansas City’s new-look payroll.
  • After two franchise tags, Williams scored a monster extension in 2021. The well-paid Giants D-lineman’s cap number this year is way up from his 2021 number ($9.4MM).
  • The Rams redid Donald’s contract last month, adding no new years to the through-2024 pact. The all-world defender’s cap hit actually decreases in 2023, dropping to $26MM
  • It is not certain Deion Jones will be back with the Falcons, who have jettisoned other Super Bowl LI cornerstones from the roster since the current regime took over in 2021. But they would save just $1MM were they to release the seventh-year linebacker.
  • To date, this represents the high-water mark for Mosley cap hits on his Jets deal, which at the time (2019) began a sea change for off-ball linebacker contracts. Mosley’s cap hit, on a pact that runs through 2024 because of the linebacker opting out of the 2020 season, increased by $10MM from 2021-22.
  • Hargrave is one of five Eagles pass rushers signed to veteran contracts. The ex-Steeler’s 2021 deal accompanies Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat, Haason Reddick, and Fletcher Cox‘s new agreement on Philadelphia’s defensive front. As cap hits do not reflect average salaries, Hargrave is the only member of this quartet tied to an eight-figure cap number in 2022.
  • Quinn has also been connected to a departure, with the 31-year-old pass rusher skipping minicamp after it became known he would like to be traded away from the rebuilding team. His cap hit tops the Bears’ payroll. The Bears would save $12.9MM by trading Quinn, should another team sign up for taking on his full 2022 base salary.

Bengals’ Trey Hendrickson Cleared To Play In Divisional Round

The Bengals have received some very positive news on the injury front. Defensive end Trey Hendrickson has been cleared from concussion protocol, and will play on Saturday against the Titans (Twitter link via ESPN’s Ben Baby). 

Hendrickson, the team’s top pass rusher, suffered the injury during last week’s win over the Raiders – Cincinnati’s first postseason victory in over 30 years. He still made an impact, though, registering a sack and one forced fumble prior to leaving the game.

The 27-year-old was one of the biggest additions the team made in the offseason, signing a four-year, $60MM deal in March after a productive start to his career in New Orleans. So far, he has been worth every penny. In 16 games this year, Hendrickson recorded a team-high 14 sacks, along with 34 total tackles and three forced fumbles. In general, he has played a major role in the team’s defensive turnaround from previous years, which is one of the reasons they seemed poised to be AFC contenders for the foreseeable future.

Hendrickson will not doubt have a lot to do with the Bengals’ fortunes, good or bad, in the Divisional Round when they visit the AFC’s No. 1 seed.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/4/22-1/5/22

Here are Tuesday and Wednesday’s activations from and placements on the reserve/COVID-19 lists:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: TE Jared Cook, LB Damon Lloyd (remains on IR)

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team