CINCINNATI — The Bengals should be interested in veteran edge rusher Whitney Mercilus. The Texans are expected to release the 31-year-old on Tuesday.
Mercilus has three sacks and 12 tackles in six games. He's had at least four sacks in all but one of his 10 seasons and that's because he only appeared in five games due to injury in 2017.
The Bengals' defense has exceeded expectations so far this season. Newcomers like Trey Hendrickson and Chidobe Awuzie have stepped in and made an instant impact.
Despite their stellar start, Cincinnati could use another edge rusher. Hendrickson has 5.5 sacks this season. No other edge has more than 1.5 sacks (Sam Hubbard).
Mercilus would give the Bengals another proven edge rusher that could rotate with Sam Hubbard, Cam Sample and the rest of the defensive ends.
Cincinnati could also give up a late round draft pick in a trade for Mercilus, rather than hoping he signs with them in free agency. Any team that trades for him would owe the veteran roughly $3 million for the rest of the season. That's a bargain if he can bolster the Bengals' pass rush in their quest to get back to the playoffs.
The Texans picked Mercilus in the first-round (26th overall) in the 2012 NFL Draft out of Illinois. He's an Akron, Ohio native.
Mercilus is a vested veteran so he won't be subject to waivers. Once the Texans release him, he'll be free to sign with another team.
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