With the trade deadline now just days away, Washington and Cincinnati continue to be pursued by a contingent of teams about potential blockbuster trades, and continue to refuse to entertain the possibility despite combining for one victory between them.
As reported last month, Washington and Cincinnati have long been getting repeated calls from a number of teams who would give them multiple high draft picks for an array of players, but to this point ownership has declined to even consider moving forward on them. The development has frustrated general managers around the league, who can find no logic in their position but are becoming resigned to the fact this may remain the case through Tuesday's deadline.
The Browns have been most heavily pursuing Washington's star left tackle Trent Williams, who vowed back in the spring to never play for the team again and has held true to his word, but they are hardly alone. (Sources said Giants left tackle Nate Solder is Cleveland's other top target.) Several teams have real interest in Washington linebacker Ryan Kerrigan as well (Baltimore and Indianapolis among them) but are not getting the sense Washington is looking to move the team leader despite facing what could be a long roster rebuild ahead.
"It's not like you are dealing with a normal team," as one AFC GM put it. "The only sensible thing to do with Trent Williams is to trade him, but they don't even want to listen. It's crazy. And I don't think that's going to change by Tuesday."
The Bengals could get a first-round pick for injured receiver A.J. Green -- an unrestricted free agent at season's end who won't be back there -- but owner Mike Brown refuses to entertain the idea, sources said. The Bengals were also getting repeated calls about Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, Tyler Eifert and Drew Kirkpatrick, sources said, but at this point some general managers aren't even sure if they're going to check back in next week given the way the Bengals have responded to this point.
"They are basically philosophically opposed to the idea of making trades," said one NFC GM. "It's a waste of time to call them. But we did. And it is what it is. You may as well be speaking a different language."
The receiver market has been hot and active for weeks now, with Green in prime position to land big value despite his injury woes in recent years. The Bengals are winless with a rookie coach and aging roster, but at this point the only player other teams think gets moved is disgruntled offensive tackle Cordy Glenn, who is clashing with the team over their handling of his concussions (and that may be more of a salary dump than anything).
Perhaps with another lopsided loss this weekend -- the Bengals face the Rams in London -- Brown will consider what could be a significant and necessary reshaping of his roster. But other teams are not counting on him or Dan Snyder doing so based off weeks of stagnation.