CINCINNATI — The Bengals traded Carlos Dunlap to the Seattle Seahawks for offensive lineman B.J. Finney and a seventh-round pick last week.
That should be the first of many deals they make ahead of Tuesday's trade deadline.
Most people know the players that could be on the move. John Ross, A.J. Green and Geno Atkins are the most popular names mentioned.
The Bengals should absolutely consider trading those guys. They should be willing to field offers for Carl Lawson and William Jackson III, but they can't completely tear down this team. They need to build a winner.
If the first seven games of the season have taught us anything, it's that Joe Burrow is a franchise quarterback. The Bengals have their guy. Now they need to do everything in their power to put quality pieces around him.
That's exactly why they should be buyers and sellers at the deadline. There are some veteran players that are reportedly available. They may have a big contract or be coming off of an injury, but the Bengals shouldn't sit on their hands.
If they can take advantage of a league that is worried about the 2021 salary cap dropping to $175 million, which would be the worst case scenario, then they should consider adding a piece or two at the deadline. The Bengals have a quarterback on a rookie contract. They have to aggressively pursue pieces that can help them win in 2021 and beyond.
Here are three players the Bengals should consider adding at the deadline.
The three-time Pro Bowler is having a down year in Philadelphia. He's currently dealing with an ankle injury and could miss a few more weeks.
Despite the slow start to the season and the injury, Ertz is a high-end talent. The Eagles are reportedly open to dealing him because they have another potential star tight end in Dallas Goedert. Ertz also wants a contract extension.
He was a beacon of consistency entering this season. He's had at least 74 receptions and 816 receiving yards in five straight seasons. He would be a great addition to the Bengals' offense. Burrow loves throwing to his tight end and Ertz is one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the NFL.
He's set to make $8 million in base salary and comes with a $12.4 million cap hit in 2021. The Bengals could trade for him and restructure his deal through the 2023 season. It could lower his cap hit in 2021 and keep him tied to Burrow for the foreseeable future.
A deal like this is much easier said than done, but the Bengals should at least call Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and see what it would take to land the three-time Pro Bowler.
Bengals fans are familiar with Kevin Zeitler. Cincinnati selected him in the first-round (27th overall) in the 2012 NFL Draft.
The veteran guard is reportedly available with New York in rebuild mode. Zeitler is set to make $12 million next season.
Despite the high salary, he's still an upgrade to the Bengals' offensive line. They've added a few pieces to the interior of their line over the past week in Quinton Spain and Finney, but neither veteran is considered a long-term option.
There likely isn't a ton of interest in Zeitler due to his contract, which means Cincinnati might be able to reunite with the 30-year-old for a day three draft selection.
The Giants are more reluctant to move Engram. He's 26-years-old and can be a part of their future. He still on his rookie contract, but will make over $6 million next season with the fifth-year option.
Engram has dealt with some injuries, but he's a quality pass-catching tight end. He would fetch more than Ertz or Zeitler in a trade due to his age, contract and potential.
Engram would give Burrow another experienced, but relatively young offensive weapon to go along with Tyler Boyd, Joe Mixon and the fast developing Tee Higgins.
A third-round pick could be enough to land Engram. The Bengals could get wild and ask New York if they'd be interested in Lawson or Jackson.
Cincinnati could also try to land both Engram and Zeitler for multiple picks. All three of these scenarios are unrealistic, but never say never.
Of all the players listed above, Engram is the most intriguing. Pairing him with Burrow is something the Bengals should explore.
Bonus: Quinnen Williams
The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday, Nov. 3 at 4 p.m. ET.
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