Buccaneers should explore a Draft Day trade for Trey Hendrickson

One of the league's premier pass rushers could be available via trade, and Jason Licht needs to consider bringing him to Tampa Bay.
Trey Hendrickson Cincinnati Bengals
Trey Hendrickson Cincinnati Bengals / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

It's NFL Draft weekend, but there could be some action for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers elsewhere in the league.

Amid growing frustrations with his contract situation, defensive end Trey Hendrickson has requested a trade from the Cincinnati Bengals. This doesn't mean the team will grant the trade request; think back to when Devin White requested a trade last offseason, but the Buccaneers refused his request, forcing White to play out the final year of his contract in Tampa Bay.

Similarly here, it is unlikely that the Bengals will entertain moving on from one of their best defensive players while they are still in control of his contract for one more season.

Still, Jason Licht should do his due diligence on the brewing situation in Cincinnati and consider making an offer for Hendrickson.

Trey Hendrickson is a familiar name to Bucs fans, as he spent the first four seasons of his career as a member of the rival New Orleans Saints, where he earned three sacks against the Buccaneers. Hendrickson has blossomed into one of the league's best pass-rushers since being drafted out of Florida Atlantic University in the third round in 2017.

Hendrickson has 59.5 career sacks and has consistently been a problem for opposing offenses, notching double-digit sacks in three of the last four seasons. Last season alone, Hendrickson finished second in the league with a whopping 17.5 sacks, behind only T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Bucs are sorely missing a presence like Hendrickson on their defensive front. The team is rumored to have an interest in adding a pass-rusher in the early rounds of the draft, but trading for Hendrickson could provide more immediate results while also giving the front office the flexibility to address other needs in the draft, such as offensive line or secondary.

What would a trade for Trey Hendrickson cost the Buccaneers?

There is no telling what compensation would be required to convince the Bengals to move on from Hendrickson, but they may not get offered as much as they demand due to Hendrickson being 29 years old and requiring a costly new contract after this season.

Earlier this offseason, the Eagles moved on from Haason Reddick, trading him to the New York Jets for a conditional third-round pick in 2026. A trade for Hendrickson would cost slightly more; perhaps the Bucs' second-round pick at No. 57 overall could get the job done, or a package of both of their third-round picks, at No. 89 and No. 92 overall.

The cost may seem steep, but it would certainly be worth the investment for the Buccaneers who would be getting one of the league's most productive pass-rushers.

Adding Hendrickson would immediately give the Bucs one of the most dangerous defensive fronts in football by adding Hendrickson into the mix with YaYa Diaby, Vita Vea, and Calijah Kancey.

If Jason Licht is going to explore this trade, he needs to pick up the phone soon. It would make sense for both sides to agree to the framework of a potential deal prior to the first round of the NFL Draft, so they can adjust their draft plans accordingly.

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