CINCINNATI — The Bengals had no choice but to trade Carlos Dunlap. The 31-year-old defensive end was past the point of no return.
There wasn't a conversation that would've smoothed things over between him and the coaching staff. There wasn't an apology Dunlap could've made that would've fixed things.
The relationship between the Bengals and Dunlap was broken.
Dunlap isn't a bad guy. He wanted a change. He wasn't playing. His role was getting smaller by the week.
He played a season-low 11 defensive snaps on Sunday against the Browns. In the past three games, he's been on the field for just 66 total plays. For context, he played 71 snaps in Week 3 against the Eagles.
The Bengals made the right decision on Wednesday when they traded him to the Seattle Seahawks.
They rid themselves of a distraction and bring in two assets that can help them now and in the future.
B.J. Finney is a capable interior offensive lineman that can play both center and guard. Bringing him into the fold helps protect the Bengals' number one asset.
Joe Burrow is the present and the future of this franchise. Keeping him upright has to be Cincinnati's top goal moving forward.
Don't be surprised if Finney pushes for significant playing time at guard. He's received favorable grades from Pro Football Focus throughout his career. He earned a 72.8 overall grade in 2017 in 301 offensive snaps. He posted a similar grade (71.5) in 2018 in 165 offensive snaps.
Finney excels in pass protection. He's only allowed two sacks during his career according to PFF. He's a backup, but he's played over 1,000 offensive snaps since entering the league.
The Bengals also received a seventh-round pick in the deal. A quality backup lineman and a seventh-rounder is more than most thought they would get for the aging Dunlap, who had tanked any trade value he had in recent weeks.
The Seahawks needed another pass rusher. They were one of the three teams AllBengals mentioned as a fit for Dunlap. Finney hadn't played for them all season.
Dunlap has some juice left. He can help a Super Bowl contender like Seattle.
Some trades make sense for both parties. This is one of those times.
Bengals Grade: B+
Seahawks Grade: A-
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