Reports are now coming out that the Bengals have consummated a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars for former first-round pick Safety Reggie Nelson. The Jaguars will receive cornerback David Jones from Cincy.
Nelson is entering his fourth season. The 26-year old former Florida Gator was on the outs in Jacksonville after underperforming the last two years. The trade gives the Bengals some better depth at safety after keeping only 3 on their initial 53-man roster. Before Nelson was brought in, Chris Crocker was the only safety of the 3 classified as a free safety. Roy Williams and Chinedum Ndukwe are generally considered strong safeties.
Jones, though healthy and solid, was unlikely to see extensive playing time with Johnathan Joseph, Leon Hall, Adam Jones, Morgan Trent and Brandon Ghee all ahead of him in the deep Bengal cornerback corps. He had an impressive interception returned for a touchdown against Denver in the second preseason game, but he was in an untenable numbers game and might have been cut at some point.
Jaguar observers have noted to me that Nelson is generally considered to be a first-round bust and a liability in coverage. It was expected that he may have been one of their final cuts. He’s accumulated 187 total tackles in 3 seasons, along with 1 sack and 7 interceptions. 2009 was his best year for tackles with 70, but he had no picks and only 5 passes defensived in 16 games.
The Bengals will hope to help him recapture the form he displayed in his rookie season, when he accumulated his best stats: 63 tackles, 1 sack, 11 passes defensed, and 5 interceptions.
The acquisition gives the team some veteran depth after Gibril Wilson was lost for the year with torn knee ligaments earlier in the preseason.
Personally, I applaud the move. I like to see the team continue to be aggressive in trying to upgrade the team. The trade makes sense for both clubs, and both players.