Bills big first-round jump enhances pursuit of franchise QB

The Cincinnati Bengals are adding to their Andy Dalton protection unit.

The Buffalo Bills have agreed to trade left tackle Cordy Glenn to the Bengals, a source informed of the situation told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. Good Morning Footballs Peter Schrager reported Buffalo and Cincinnati are swapping first-round picks, moving the Bills up to No. 12 and the Bengals back to No. 21. Theyre also swapping fifth- and sixth-round picks, with Buffalo moving to No. 158 and Cincinnati dropping back to No. 187, per Rapoport.

That would enable the Bills, if they were more or less equally enamored of any three from USCs Sam Darnold, UCLAs Josh Rosen, Wyomings Josh Allen and Oklahomas Baker Mayfield, to wait to see which one of their preferred targets fell to them. A mock draft Monday at CBS Sports had Buffalo using its two first-rounders this year and the one it holds in the 2019 draft to move up to the Giants No. 2 spot for Darnold. That mock had those four quarterback prospects going in the first six picks, with two more signal-callers, Louisvilles Lamar Jackson and Oklahoma States Mason Rudolph, selected later in the first round.

The trade cannot become official until the new league year begins Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET.

Glenn is on his way to a team desperate for offensive line help. After losing tackle Andrew Whitworth and guard Kevin Zeitler, Cincinnati saw a significant drop-off in line play, finishing T-29th in rushing at 3.6 yards per carry and 31st in total rushing yards (1,366) while surrendering 40 sacks. After the potential of this drafts tackle class sustained a significant blow due to underwhelming NFL Scouting Combine performances, and thanks to a thin free-agent market at the position, Cincinnati is instead dealing for an experienced tackle who will start immediately.

According to multiple reports, the Bills have agreed to send Cordy Glenn to Cincinnati in exchange for a swap of first-round picks, moving them up to 12th from 21st, plus a fifth-round pick (158th overall) for the Bengals sixth-round selection (187th). That gives the Bills, who also have two picks in each of the second and third rounds, plenty of ammunition to trade up even higher in a draft expected to see a quartet of highly regarded quarterback prospects go very early.

Bills, Bengals make trade

The book on Glenn varies, depending on who you talk to. The tackle was limited to six games in 2017 due to multiple injuries and hasnt played a full season since 2015, but when healthy, has been an effective blocker. Second-year tackle Dion Dawkins, a second-round pick out of Temple in 2017, looks to be in line to replace Glenn. Dawkins appeared in 16 games in 2017, starting 11 in place of Glenn.

The Chiefs were strapped for cash heading into the offseason, necessitating moves on several fronts. Theyve already voided the contract of linebacker Derrick Johnson, their career tackles leader, to save about $8 million, and released cornerback Darrelle Revis to save $4.5 million.

Bengals trade for Cordy Glenn ripples down offensive line, draft and contracts

What made Glenn a more movable piece was his five-year, $60 million contract signed in 2016, prior to general manager Brandon Beanes arrival. A potential out didnt exist in his contract until 2019, and Glenns $2 million roster bonus was due this week. If Buffalo didnt like Glenn as much as his contract paid — including a salary-cap hit of $11.25 million in 2018 — his injury history, roster bonus and Dawkins performance would understandably expedite Glenns exit.

Hopkins has made 73 of 87 field-goal attempts in three seasons, putting him at 83.9 percent, which ranks second in franchise history among kickers with at least 50 tries. His career-long kick is 54 yards. He missed half of last season with a strained hip muscle.

With this considered, the Bills did a good job of getting adequate compensation, climbing the draft ladder to No. 12. Days after sending Tyrod Taylor to Cleveland, Buffalo is closer to landing its quarterback of the future.

Buffalo also traded its fifth-round pick (158th overall) for the Bengals sixth-round selection (187th) as part of the Bills second major trade in three days. On Friday, Buffalo traded starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor to Cleveland for a third-round pick.

Bills swap 1st-round picks and trade tackle Glenn to Bengals

One year after letting two key offensive linemen walk in free agency, it looks like the Bengals have finally decided to bring in some extra protection for Andy Dalton, and theyre paying a hefty price to do it. 

Bengals trade down in first round to get veteran tackle Cordy Glenn from Bills

According to, the Bengals have pulled off a trade with the Bills that will send left tackle Cordy Glenn to Cincinnati. The wild part of the trade is that the two teams will also be swapping first-round picks, according to 

Dawkins, 23, has three years remaining on his rookie contract. He showed why the Bills traded up into the second round during the 2017 draft to acquire him out of Temple, ranking 10th in Pro Football Focus overall grading of the leagues left tackles as a rookie. He excelled in run blocking and did well enough in pass protection to show he can be the Bills long-term answer at left tackle. Dawkins played 75 percent of the snaps as a rookie and gave up only three sacks, two at Cincinnati and one against Denver.

The Bills will be sending Glenn to the Bengals, along with the 21st overall pick in the NFL Draft. In return, Buffalo will get Cincinnatis first-round pick, which is the 12th overall selection. The Bengals will also acquire a fifth-round pick from Buffalo and send a sixth-round pick to the Bills as part of the exchange. 

“I actually feel great that the coaches are trusting me this early in my career,” Dawkins said in a brief phone interview with The Buffalo News on Monday night. “The one thing that I can say that I think that I do best is I play through the whistle. I know that coach McDermott likes that style, that nasty mentality. Im guessing that shocked coach as a young player, that I brought that to the table.”

This is one of those trades where both sides are definitely going to come away happy. The Bills had been looking to unload Glenn and the Bengals were in desperate need of an upgrade at the offensive tackle position. 

After letting Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler leave in free agency last year, the Bengals offensive line was a total disaster in 2017. Dalton was sacked a total of 39 times last year, which was tied for the sixth-highest total of any quarterback in the NFL. The offensive line of the future in Cincinnati was supposed to consist of tackles Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher, who were both selected in the 2015 NFL Draft, but neither player has really lived up to expectations. 

Now the question is, which quarterback are the Bills targeting? Even with all of their picks, the Bills still arent in control of their situation. If the Browns want to take a quarterback, they will have their pick with the top overall selection in the draft. If they select UCSs Sam Darnold, that leaves UCLAs Josh Rosen, Wyomings Josh Allen, Oklahomas Baker Mayfield and Louisvilles Lamar Jackson as options for the Bills. Rosen would be the most appealing in a trade up, but Allen and Mayfield are candidates to be drafted in the top five as well. 

As long as hes healthy, Glenn will be an instant upgrade over any tackle that the Bengals currently have on the roster. The health part is key for Glenn because he missed a total of 10 games in 2017 while dealing with foot and ankle problems for most of the season. However, Glenn did undergo an operation in January and hes expected to be ready for practice when offseason workouts begin in April. 

The 28-year-old has only played in 17 of a possible 32 regular season games over the past seasons. Although hes been battling injuries since 2016, Glenn was a workhorse before that. After being selected by the Bills in the second of the 2012 NFL Draft, Glenn started 61 of 64 games for Buffalo over the next four seasons. 

At this point, its clear the Bills are positioning themselves to move up in the 2018 NFL Draft order and take a quarterback. Thats why they were willing to trade Tyrod Taylor for a third round pick and its way trading Glenn to move up to 12 was appealing. Convincing a team to move down from the top five all the way into the 20s would have been tough. Its a lot easier to get a team to move down to 12. 

Of course, this trade could turn into a disaster for the Bengals if Glenn doesnt return to his pre-2016 form. The Bengals are dropping nine spots in the first round of the draft to acquire Glenn, which is a steep price to pay if Glenn isnt a 100 percent. 

The trade means that the Bengals will now be on the hook for whats left of Glenns five-year, $60 million deal that he signed back in May 2016. The upside for the Bengals is that if Glenn doesnt get healthy or doesnt work out in Cincinnati, they can release him after the 2018 season without taking a cap hit. On the other hand, if Glenn turns into a star, the Bengals have him under contract for the next three years at just $30 million, which is a bargain for a starting left tackle. 

As for the Bills, theyll pick up roughly $4.85 million in cap space for 2018 with the trade. 

With the move, the Bills are now in even better shape to take a quarterback in the first-round of this years draft. After sending Tyrod Taylor to Cleveland over the weekend, the Bills have made it clear theyre in the market for a quarterback. The Bills will be holding two first-round picks in April (No. 12 and No. 22), plus three other picks in the top-65, which should be plenty of ammo to move up and grab the quarterback they want. 

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. Hes believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will… Full Bio

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