In another sign that the Bengals are working to change their reputation as stubbornly unaggressive, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported on Thursday that the team had pursued a trade with Dallas for second-year TE Martellus Bennett.
On Wednesday, Jerry Jones had mentioned vaguely that they had received an offer from another team, but had turned it down. Jones said that there was a “very firm, significant offer for one of our young players.”
Bennett has rare size and athleticism, but is still being developed by the Cowboys and getting limited snaps behind starter Jason Witten.
The trade would have made a lot of sense for the Bengals, who have been struggling at the position with the loss of starter Reggie Kelly and back-up Ben Utecht in training camp. Daniel Coats, a FB last season, has been pressed into starting duty, with free agent pick-up J.P. Foschi also getting significant snaps.
Both players had drive-killing fumbles in last week’s loss to the Texans in the second half.
There was no word on what the Bengals had offered the Cowboys in terms of draft picks or players. For his part, Bennett seemed intrigued by the possibility of playing with Chad Ochocinco. On his twitter page, Bennett wrote, “Ha the bengals tried to trade for me?ochocinco Marty b woulda been a ruckus. I love being a cowboy tho this is home I love this team.”
Though the deal was ultimately turned down, and the trade deadline has now passed, this should be seen as a good sign to Bengals fans. It seems to indicate the team is leaving no stone unturned in an effort to improve a weakness on the roster.