Trades in the NFL are rare due to the fact that very few contracts have a high volume of guaranteed money.
In baseball or basketball, trades are much more prevalent because every contract is guaranteed, so “just cutting a guy” isn’t easy to do when two or three years and $50 million remain on a deal.
In the NBA, one of the more popular “trade types” is the sign-and trade, where a team signs a player and then deals him to a team of his choice.
Which is exactly what I’m suggesting the New York Giants and Cincinnati Bengals do at some point this offseason.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who had one of the best seasons of his career in 2016, has a cap number of $9 million next season.
While he was a top five cornerback last season, according to Pro Football Focus, he’s still the third cornerback listed on the team’s depth chart, with rumors of him being dealt or cut swirling for months now.
On the other hand, the Bengals have a decision to make between Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler.
Both are free agents and both are expected to make upwards of $10 million next season.
Considering Cincinnati has up-and-coming tackles Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher on the roster, paying Whitworth elite tackle money at his age (35) may be something they could do without.
And when you consider that Rodgers-Cromartie’s contract would mirror something similar to Whitworth’s, Cincy signing and trading Whitworth for a caliber of player like DRC (who isn’t available on the open market) wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Also, DRC’s deal ends after 2018 and Whitworth would likely only be signing a one or two year deal as well – neither deal handcuffing either organization.
Cincinnati has Dre Kirkpatrick hitting free agency and Adam “Pacman” Jones jeopardizing his own career with his latest arrest, meaning they could be in the market for a corner.
In return, Whitworth would fill the biggest hole on the Giants offense, finally giving Eli Manning a legitimate blindside protector.
It’s something to think about.