Sources: Bengals send picks to Jets for Robertson
By Michael Smith
The New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals have agreed to terms on a trade that would send defensive tackle Dewayne Robertson to the Bengals in exchange for Cincinnati's fourth- and fifth-round picks (Nos. 114 and 151) in the upcoming draft, according to league sources.
Completion of the trade is contingent upon Robertson agreeing to a new contract -- he had two years remaining on his rookie deal with New York -- and passing a physical, though neither is expected to hold up the deal, which could be finalized as early as Monday.
On Friday the Bengals had a deal in place to acquire Lions defensive tackle Shaun Rogers in exchange for third- and fifth-round picks, but that trade fell through when it did not meet league approval. The Lions then traded Rogers to the Bengals' in-state rivals, the Browns, for a third rounder and cornerback Leigh Bodden.
In Robertson, 26, the Bengals, hoping to improve a defense that has ranked higher than 27th in yards allowed once in the past five seasons, will get a player who isn't as big or as dominant as Rogers has been in his first five season. But Robertson is just as hungry for a fresh start. Robertson, 6-foot-1 and 310 pounds, should be a better fit as a penetrating "3-technique" tackle in Cincinnati's 4-3 scheme than he had been in the Jets' 3-4 the past two years.
In an interesting twist, the Bengals will have on their roster two of the first four picks in the 2003 draft. In fact, Cincinnati selected quarterback Carson Palmer first overall that year from among a group of four finalists that also included Robertson, whom Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis (along with many other personnel evaluators) is said to have loved coming out of the University of Kentucky.
Robertson will be the fifth interior defensive lineman to be dealt for at least one draft pick since Friday, joining Corey Williams (Packers to Browns), Kris Jenkins (Panthers to Jets), Marcus Stroud (Jaguars to Bills) and Rogers. Some do not consider the 2008 draft to be deep at the defensive tackle position, thus several teams have decided to instead spend pick on a veteran.
Michael Smith is a senior writer for ESPN.com.