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Hobson's Choice: Long wait for trades

Q: With the Draft coming up in a few weeks, news of trades are already happening. With the Bengals at the No. 6 slot, do you see them making a move with the Broncos, whom seem to be dangling their two first-round choices, 12 and 18? It would give the Bengals a chance to pick up two solid players instead of one. *   --Joseph, Taylor Mill, KY

JOSEPH: There may be news, but nothing is going to happen if you go by recent history. No top seven team has been able to trade down since 2005 and with the rookie salaries astronomical and this class down to earth, expect the trend to continue.

Word out of Denver is the only thing dangling is head coach Josh McDaniels' reputation after the Jay Cutler fiasco. Two reasons why the Broncos probably won't trade up to No. 8 Jacksonville for a quarterback is it would admit that trading Cutler was a mistake and, as SI's Peter King says, the 12th pick is the best position in this draft.

In most years, most of these top 10 guys would be No. 11 to 18 guys. There is no impact player in this draft that doesn't have red flags. There is Michael Crabtree's foot, Aaron Curry's position of linebacker, Matthew Stafford's experience, Jason Smith's size, Andre Smith's girth ... . The question marks go on forever.

Throw in the fact that you're giving these guys anywhere from $10 to $40 million guaranteed, and who in their right mind would trade up? I've got to believe the Bengals would jump through several windows to make any trade to get out of there. Why not? You'd get an extra pick and the same kind of player with the question mark at No. 6, at say, 16 or 26. But then again, why would you trade up in this draft?

OK, some think if you want USC quarterback Mark Sanchez you have to get in front of San Fran at 10. But I don't buy it. Sanchez isn't going to go to New York for the draft for a reason. Sit at No. 10, 12, or No. 13 Washington and you still might get him.

This is why it kind of jolts you when people say Bengals president Mike Brown doesn't want to win. Getting saddled with a top 10 pick is plenty of incentive. You end up rolling the dice on a guy that is going to be one of your top five paid players and he hasn't played a snap. Lose in this league, and you end up in a game of economic Russian roulette.

Q: I know we are all sick of talking about Chad Ocho Cinco, but what is the reality of the Bengals trading Chad? Isn't there a team out there that is making a good offer or is the salary cap issue still a problem? Just was wondering because I get the feeling the team is ready to move on, but I haven't seen a move yet. --*Casey, Cincinnati, OH

CASEY:Never say never. But the Bengals aren't actively looking to move him and they haven't given him permission to look for one. Give a trade happening before the draft a 7.8 percent chance, 17.8 after. What is true this year was true last year: Brown has let it be known he won't be bulldozed. What isn't the same as last year is there are no big-time trade offers out there.

Last year reports said Washington offered a first-rounder and conditional third-rounder that could become a first. For all the reports that have been out there this year, it doesn't look like they've got any solid offers from the Eagles or Giants or anybody else.

Even though there isn't a significant cap hit if they trade him, he's a tougher sell this year. At 31, he's a year older. He suffered a separated shoulder last season, an injury he said he wouldn't get surgically repaired.  He's coming off his worst season. That said, the Bengals don't have a replacement for him, and he has had some big seasons with Carson Palmer throwing to him and Chris Henry next to him.

The next move looks to belong to the Bengals. See what they draft. But right now and through the draft, he looks like a Bengal.

Unless, of course, there is an offer they can't refuse.

But it's not here yet and it doesn't sound like they're listening.


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