Bengals Star Requests Trade Ahead of NFL Draft Night

Star defensive end seeks recognition through a new deal.

by Nouman Rasool
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Bengals Star Requests Trade Ahead of NFL Draft Night
© Jeff Dean/Getty Images

Trey Hendrickson, the Cincinnati Bengals’ standout defensive end, has issued a stark choice to his team: secure his future with a new contract or send him elsewhere. On the eve of the NFL Draft, Hendrickson’s demand adds a layer of tension to the Bengals’ off-season strategy, according to his agent, Harold Lewis.

Lewis explained to ESPN that securing a long-term commitment from the Bengals remains their top priority. “Our No. 1 goal is to get a long-term commitment from them," Lewis stated. "If we can't, then we're asking for a trade.

And hopefully, if he gets traded, that's what we do – get a long-term commitment with somewhere else”. In 2021, Hendrickson signed a lucrative four-year, $60 million contract with the Bengals and later agreed to a one-year extension in July 2023, valued at $21 million, which would keep him with the team through the 2025 season.

Despite these agreements, Hendrickson, aged 29, seeks a deal that mirrors his status as one of the NFL's premier defensive ends.

Hendrickson's Record Performance

Hendrickson’s performance has been nothing short of spectacular, earning Pro Bowl selections in each of his three seasons with the Bengals.

Last season, he was second in the NFL with 17.5 sacks, setting a new franchise record for single-season sacks. This exceptional track record underscores why he is pushing for a contract that reflects his significant impact on the field.

However, The Athletic reports that the Bengals show “zero interest” in trading Hendrickson, potentially setting the stage for a standoff between player and team. This development comes alongside news that Tee Higgins, another key player for the Bengals, has also requested a trade, hinting at possible tumult within the squad.

As the NFL Draft approaches, the Bengals find themselves at a crossroads with two of their top talents seeking clarity on their futures. How the team responds could very well shape their roster strategy and locker room dynamics heading into the new season.

Hendrickson’s situation, in particular, will be a key storyline to watch, as it unfolds amid the high stakes of draft night decisions and team planning.

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