NFL rumors: Trey Hendrickson ‘considering retirement’ if Bengals contract dispute persists

The star defensive end is threatening to walk away for good.

NFL rumors: Trey Hendrickson ‘considering retirement’ if Bengals contract dispute persists

The drama between the Cincinnati Bengals and star defensive end Trey Hendrickson took another turn on Wednesday, when the star defensive end made a trade demand before threatening to retire altogether, per Charlie Clifford of NBC5 Cincinnati:

A source tells @WLWT, in addition to the trade request, Trey Hendrickson notified the Bengals that he is considering retirement ahead of this regular season if the two sides fail to reach an agreement on a new contract. Hendrickson met with Head Coach Zac Taylor earlier today.”

This is a unique development; the threat of retiring, coupled with a trade request going public as the team attempts to prep for the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night, speaks to how serious the situation has become.

As a reminder, the Bengals and Hendrickson agreed on a one-year extension just last summer, which gave the defensive end a $5 million pay bump and $16 million more on the additional year.

However, the request more than likely comes from the fact Hendrickson outplayed his original deal with the team, then put up 43 total tackles and 17.5 sacks last season, becoming a first-team All-Pro.

The twist is that the Bengals are not at all interested in trading away Hendrickson. After all, they just got another trade demand from one of Joe Burrow’s most lethal weapons in Tee Higgins. Letting go of their defensive anchor will surely deal a blow to their chances of continuity and making a deep postseason run.

Joe Burrow ready for Bengals to take down rival Chiefs

Injured Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) walks the field before the first quarter of the NFL Week 17 game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cincinnati Bengals at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., on Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023.

© Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow exhilarated a hot crowd in the Cincinnati Bearcats’ Fifth Third Arena while appearing on a live broadcast of Travis and Jason Kelce’s “New Heights” podcast earlier this month. The 2022 Pro Bowler commended the Chiefs, but he also made sure to make a strong declaration that many fans echo.

“I think we’re built to beat them,” Burrow said when asked why this rivalry is so compelling. Of course, many will point to the Chiefs’ NFL postseason dominance of recent years as to why Burrow’s comment is ridiculous. But the evidence supports this “bold” statement.

The Joe Burrow-led Bengals are 3-1 versus the Chiefs and own a momentous AFC Championship win over them in Arrowhead Stadium. KC finally vanquished its foe in last year’s title game, squeaking by 23-20 to bring an end to the “Burrowhead” narrative.

Football fans were denied a chance to witness another chapter of this captivating NFL conflict last postseason, as injuries hampered the Bengals throughout the year. Health questions will continue to hang over Burrow’s head after his injury history, but if the 2021 Comeback Player of the Year can enjoy another memorable return campaign, then the Chiefs could be in for another war.

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