The Cincinnati Bengals have begun their "rebuild" by benching franchise quarterback Andy Dalton in favor of Ryan Finley, a byproduct of their 0-8 record to start the season. Cincinnati has publicly stated it will not trade Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green prior to Tuesday's trade deadline, but CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora listed the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles as two teams that could try to strike a deal for Green at the final hour by making them an offer they can't refuse.
"There's a lot of interest in A.J. Green," La Canfora said on CBS Sports HQ. "Will the Bengals to the obvious or will they keep their head in the sand and say 'We're diametrically opposed to making trades and it's not what we do and we don't want to help other football teams,' which is the messaging they're putting out there.
"We'll see.. Deadlines spur action. The Saints are willing to add a top-caliber playmaker if possible. Even with A.J. Green being as hurt as he is, the Saints or the Eagles, maybe they make an offer that even (owner) Mike Brown can't refuse."
The Saints could use another wide receiver to line up opposite Michael Thomas as they look to cement themselves as the team to beat in the NFC. Adding Green would add the element of a vertical passing attack for Drew Brees and open up the running game for Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray. The Eagles have struggled to get consistent production from their wide receivers since DeSean Jackson has been out for two months with an abdomen injury. to the field this week, but adding Green to Philadelphia would be an immense addition for a team that has Jackson and Alshon Jeffery as the starting wideouts for Carson Wentz.
Drafted fourth overall in the 2011 NFL Draft, Green has 602 catches for 8,907 yards and 63 touchdowns, averaging 14.8 yards per catch. Green has six 1,000-yard seasons and has made the Pro Bowl seven times. He has missed 21 games since the start of the 2016 season due to various injuries. Green has not played a game for the Bengals this season due to an ankle injury, but he is expected to be back after the Bengals bye week (which is this week). The earliest Green is expected to return would be Week 10.
If the Bengals do not have plans to re-sign Green -- an impending free agent -- they stand to gain very little by keeping him on the roster during a lost 2019 season.