After an 0-7 start, the Cincinnati Bengals could be massive sellers at the approaching NFL trade deadline on Oct. 29, and there is no bigger offensive weapon on their roster than veteran wide receiver A.J. Green.
The Green Bay Packers might be willing to take him off their hands.
According to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, the Packers and the Philadelphia Eagles are both “likely” to be interested in trading for the star wideout. A deal of that caliber would most likely require the Packers to give up at least one early-round future draft as the Bengals build for the future, but the reward would be adding another dynamic weapon to Aaron Rodgers’ arsenal opposite Davante Adams once he returns.
While the Bengals have publicly insisted Green, who has yet to play this season with an ankle injury, is not available for trade, it wouldn’t be shocking if the front office’s attitude changes throughout the week or even after Sunday’s game at the Los Angeles Rams. Another loss would see Cincinnati’s winless streak stretch to eight straight games.
It wouldn’t be the first time this month a team has said one of their stars wasn’t on the market only to change their minds quickly. The Denver Broncos just last week reportedly told the Packers and several other teams that Emmanuel Sanders was not available for trade, then Tuesday afternoon dealt him away to the San Francisco 49ers.
As the deadline has neared, the Packers have come up as an interested party a number of times in trade talks about wide receivers around the league, but there are a number of things to consider when looking at the possibility of them making a trade for Green.
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Is Green a Worthwhile Investment for the Packers?
The Packers’ spirits are pretty high after winning six of their first seven games this season, but their chances at making the Super Bowl immediately improve with an addition like Green to their young receiving corps.
While Adams continues to work back from a turf toe injury that has kept him sidelined for the past three games, Rodgers has continued to keep the Packers’ passing game dangerous with his most recent endeavor against the Oakland Raiders seeing him throw for 427 yards and five touchdowns in the 42-24 victory.
In Sunday’s win alone, Rodgers completed at least one pass to eight different targets and saw a different pass-catcher haul in each of his touchdown throws. It gets more diverse when looking at the entire season, as a total of 14 different players have caught at least one pass from Rodgers this season while eight of them have at least 100 receiving yards.
Second-year wideout Marquez Valdes-Scantling — who caught two passes for a career-high 133 yards Sunday against the Raiders — has taken over as the leading receiving in Adams’ absence, while fourth-year slot receiver Geronimo Allison has been useful in spurts despite not showing constant reliability. The rest of the receiver pool in Green Bay consists of three former undrafted free agents who have collectively played in 23 games during their careers.
Green would not only add another veteran presence to help mentor the Packers’ promising young talent but also provide Rodgers with another battle-tested threat in the passing game — though, his health does raise some questions for the immediate future.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Green is recovering well from an ankle injury, but the Bengals aren’t expecting to have their seven-time Pro Bowler back on the field until after the trade deadline. Taking a cautious approach is a no-brainer considering Green has made 602 catches for 8,907 yards and 63 touchdowns over his nine-season career in Cincinnati, though such numbers also make him a high-value trade option even at 31 years old.
The Bengals might not be willing to budge just yet on giving up one of their brightest stars in recently stars, but losing Sunday to the Rams would give them no wins in the entire first half of the 2019 season. That’s enough to make anyone consider a wild change in direction.