Cincinnati Bengals defensive finish Carlos Dunlap’s message of bullying consciousness has taken him to the guts of the opposing groups, however resonated.
Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer
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UPDATE:The NFL trade deadline was 4 p.m. on Oct. 31, and passed without the Cincinnati Bengals making a trade. This column has been updated for content and tense to reflect that.
With the Cincinnati Bengals clinging to their playoff hopes at 3-4 and in need of improvement across several offensive areas – should they have made a deal?
It’s easy to say yes.
The Enquirer had learned the club wasn’t really interested in making a move – even along the offensive line, but the Bengals had the necessary resources to do so.
According to the National Football League’s Players Association (NFLPA), the club has just over $11.8 million available in cap space for this year (though the club will say it’s lower than that) and have plenty of draft capital to work with, due in large part to three free agents who left and some trades they already made.
The club lost a 2018 seventh-rounder to Jacksonville for acquiring defensive end Chris Smith in April but got it back in August for sending linebacker Marquis Flowers to New England.
So, the Bengals have their entire seven-round draft class intact for 2018, and the freakishly accurate OverTheCap.com compensatory pick projection has them getting an additional third rounder for Kevin Zeitler, an extra fifth-rounder for Andrew Whitworth and – believe it or not – an extra seventh rounder for Margus Hunt.
That’s 10 picks – and seven in the first five rounds – to infuse into a roster that couldn’t find room for four of the 11 picks they had in 2016. (The team has nine unrestricted free agents heading into 2018, and one restricted free agent in AJ McCarron.)
And if you want to spin it into 2019, the Bengals already have eight selections in that draft after picking up a sixth-rounder that year…