Cincinnati Bengals’ Star Gets Brutally Honest On Future With Team

Trey Hendrickson, Cincinnati Bengals
NFL Analysis Network

Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman Trey Hendrickson requested a trade last month, but he may be having a change of heart.

The star pass rusher attended the Bengals’ voluntary offseason workouts, a rather strange feat for someone who apparently wants to be dealt.

However, Hendrickson doesn’t really want out of Cincinnati. He just wants to get paid, and he expressed his desire to remain in Cincy this week.

“This is where separating business and the team is difficult. At what point am I contradicting what I want?” Hendrickson said, via Geoff Hobson of the Bengals’ official team website. “Long-term, winning games, all those things are what I want to do here in Cincinnati, and removing myself from the team doesn’t help the team.”

It’s great to see Hendrickson taking an unselfish approach, and the Bengals will absolutely need him if they want to contend for a Super Bowl next season.

The 29-year-old is coming off of a fantastic 2023 campaign in which he played every game and racked up 43 tackles, 17.5 sacks and three forced fumbles en route to his third straight Pro Bowl appearance.

But Hendrickson is crediting his teammates and his coaching staff for those eye-popping numbers.

“The stats mean I’ve had a good team surrounding me,” he said. “That means I’ve had teammates who have given me the opportunity for individual achievements. I can’t rush the passer on my own. I can’t scheme a pass coverage like (defensive coordinator) Lou (Anarumo) can that is freeing me up on third-and-8 for a sack-strip. I can’t do it without (head coach) Zac Taylor giving us a 14-point lead, when sacks are more attainable. That’s football. Not just defense. Not just the defensive line. It’s a team.”

Hendrickson, who played his collegiate football at Florida Atlantic, was originally selected by the New Orleans Saints in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

He spent the first four years of his career with the Saints and was a late bloomer, totaling 6.5 sacks over his first three seasons before breaking out with 13.5 sacks in 2020.

That ensuing offseason, Hendrickson signed with the Bengals, where he has flourished ever since.

“My mindset is to win a Super Bowl and I think we’ve got the quarterback and the pieces to do it,” added Hendrickson. “I want to be here a long time. I want to win football games and I want to bring a Super Bowl to Cincinnati.”

Hendrickson is under contract through 2025 and is slated to earn a tick over $20 million in base salary this coming season and $18.7 million the following year.

We’ll see if the Bengals can cook up an extension for the three-time Pro Bowler in the coming months.

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