In the past two seasons, the Cincinnati Bengals have used the final two weeks before the opener to pull off trades. They've been as open to preseason trades as any team in the league.
The Bengals' recent history of preseason trades include:
- Sept. 4, 2010: Dealt CB David Jones to Jacksonville for S Reggie Nelson.
- Aug. 23, 2011: Dealt a seventh-round pick to San Francisco for S Taylor Mays
- Aug. 29, 2011: Dealt DT Clinton McDonald to Seattle for CB Kelly Jennings.
Cincinnati came out on top on all of these deals. The first two landed their starting safeties this season and sacrificed next to nothing (Jones no longer plays for Jacksonville). The last landed depth at corner last year for a position player who wasn't going to make the 53-man roster.
Will they swing another deal this preseason?
Looking at linebacker and cornerback, they own an overflow of pieces that could be flipped into depth at a thinner position. Defensive end stands in question with Carlos Dunlap and Robert Geathers banged up. A backup C/G combo is desired to fill the role Clint Boling previously owned before being forced into the starting lineup when Travelle Wharton went out of the season.
These three players could be viewed as the most expendable quality assets on the roster.
LB Roddrick Muckelroy. The second-year linebacker leads the Bengals in tackles this preseason and bounced back nicely from an Achilles injury suffered the first practice of 2011.
The talent Cincinnati saw drafting him in the fourth round in 2010 shines through with every passing game. He's buried behind LB Rey Maualuga as the starter and been pushed by surprising undrafted free agent LB Vontaze Burfict.
Don't forget, Maualuga missed games last season and versatile backup and special teams star Dan Skuta filled in admirably. Depth doesn't lack at the position and if Muckelroy could land quality piece at defensive end or offensive line, it would benefit. One, a trade would add depth to a position lacking in it and, two, add a roster spot because the Bengals figure to hold an extra linebacker on the 53-man roster to assure Burfict a spot.
DB Adam Jones: By all accounts, the Bengals like Jones and the oft-maligned corner resuscitated his image in the city. Yet, the constant nagging injuries and uneven play – particularly being burnt badly in last year's playoff loss to Houston -- leave a lasting impression. Can the Bengals count on Jones to play every week? They can't, necessarily. His pure talent, particularly considering his explosion as a returner, make him a valuable commodity. But he resides in a room with many like him. Nate Clements, Leon Hall, Jason Allen, Terence Newman and Dre Kirkpatrick are all first-round selections competing with him.
LB Dontay Moch: The 2011 third-round pick still remains one of the physical freaks of the NFL. His numbers at the Combine were off the charts (4.40 40-yard dash at 245 pounds) and he was one of the top pure pass rushers during his time at Nevada. He was given a four-game suspension for violating the substance abuse policy, but shown his ability this preseason leading the Bengals with 3.5 sacks for minus-34 yards. With the depth at linebacker, he could be an odd man out if not for his suspension allowing a temporary stay of execution.
Follow Paul Dehner Jr. for Bengals updates on Twitter at @CBSSportsNFLCIN.