CINCINNATI — The NFL trade deadline is quickly approaching and wide receiver John Ross clearly wants to be sent elsewhere.
The 24-year-old has only been on the field for one snap since Week 2.
Ross, arguably the fastest player in the league, was a healthy scratch in Weeks 3-4. He was sick in Week 5, before being active in Week 5 against the Colts. He played one snap—a running play and clearly wasn't a part of Zac Taylor's offensive game plan.
"It’s not a secret that i have requested a trade," Ross tweeted. "Trade me if this how y’all [the Bengals] feel. I’m healthy and eager to play. I know I can be productive. It’s hard to love something when you're not actually participating in it. Believe me, its not football that I don’t like."
The fourth-year wide receiver might not have great numbers this season—two receptions for 17 yards—but he has something a lot of teams need: speed.
Ross doesn't have a ton of trade value, but there are teams that should be willing to part with a draft pick for a guy that could help get them over the top.
Here are three teams that should consider trading for the former ninth-overall pick.
Green Bay Packers
Ross has flashed at times for the Bengals and Packers head coach Matt LaFleur could put him in position to have success right away. He had 11 receptions for 270 yards and three touchdowns in the first two games of the 2019 season. That was his first exposure to the Kyle Shanahan/Sean McVay offense, which is similar to what LaFleur runs in Green Bay.
Aaron Rodgers would love to have another deep threat, especially after the Packers ignored the wide receiver position in the draft.
San Francisco 49ers
He would be dynamic in Shanahan's system. Ross would instantly become their third wide receiver. He's capable of moving all over the field and Shanahan has had success with speedsters like Ross.
He doesn't need 12 targets per game to make an impact. He could bring the speed to an offense that will rely heavily on Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk.
The Colts are in desperate need of speed on the outside. Pro Bowl wide receiver T.Y. Hilton is off to a slow start. Parris Campbell is on injured reserve. Rookie Michael Pittman has also missed time due to injury.
Ross ran the fastest 40-yard dash in NFL Combine history back in 2017 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Getting to play in a dome could benefit the 24-year-old. The Colts are off to a 4-2 start and would like nothing more than to push for a playoff spot. Finding another weapon for Philip Rivers should be a priority between now and the Nov. 3 trade deadline.
Wild Card: New England Patriots
The Patriots desperately need a downfield threat. They placed Julian Edelman in injured rrserve earlier this week. Former first-round pick N'Keal Harry is also injured.
Finding a deep threat for Cam Newton should be a priority. Ted Ginn had 98 receptions (192 targets) for 1,492 yards and 14 touchdowns in two seasons with Newton (2015-16) in Carolina. Ross could bring that same element to the Patriots.
Bonus: Philadelphia Eagles
DeSean Jackson on injured reserve with an ankle sprain. The veteran speedster is close with Ross. They talk regularly.
It wouldn't be shocking to see the Eagles trade for Ross. They desperately need playmakers. Lining up Ross across from first-round pick Jalen Reagor could scare opposing defenses. Eagles general manager Howie Roseman isn't afraid of taking a chance on talented players. He could get Ross on the cheap.
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