From media reports, it appears that for the first time in nine years the Bengals may have just pulled off an October Surprise with a trade that beat the NFL deadline by six days. As practice began Wednesday, the Bengals had yet to announce the deal.
The trade would resolve open issues with defensive end Carlos Dunlap by sending their active sack leader to Seattle in exchange for fifth-year offensive lineman B.J. Finney and a seventh-round draft pick, reports say. It would be the first time in recent memory the Bengals have received both a player and a pick in a trade.
The Bengals were on the verge of a deadline deal with Cleveland for a second and third-round pick for backup quarterback AJ McCarron three years ago, but the Browns fumbled the paperwork. Nine years ago, just hours before the deadline, the Bengals dealt quarterback Carson Palmer to Oakland for a first and second-round pick.
The Bengals continued to finish off this trade's paperwork as practice neared Wednesday in the workout that begins on-field prep for Sunday's game (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Local 12) against the Titans. Head coach Zac Taylor wouldn't comment on the deal until official.
As the Bengals continue developing a new defensive scheme, the fit with Dunlap wasn't there as he saw his role reduced to primarily third-down snaps. Against Cleveland Dunlap played his final dozen plays as a Bengal and finished a sack away from Eddie Edwards' franchise record of 83.5.
"I think Carlos is a good person," said safety Jessie Bates III before practice. "I'm happy he's going to a situation where maybe he's going to have success."
This October Surprise seems to provide something for everyone. The Bengals get draft capital and help on the offensive line. Seattle gets help on the defensive line and Dunlap gets a chance in a scheme with which he's more comfortable. The 6-4, 318-pound Finney, undrafted out of Kansas State, a center by trade, had 13 starts with the Steelers in the four previous seasons before signing with Seattle, where he has only played on special teams.
It is unclear whether there's another October Surprise on the way. There could be one in November since the deadline is this Tuesday, Nov. 3.