The Cincinnati Bengals might be the biggest winner of the Trey Lance trade.
The Cowboys traded for Lance in the most fussed-over trade involving a third-string quarterback in NFL history. Lance won’t do anything to help Dallas win a Super Bowl this season, but the move did make preseason standout quarterback Will Grier expendable.
Following his release on Tuesday, Cincinnati signed him to its practice squad, shoring up its depth at quarterback with Joe Burrow (calf) sidelined.
With Burrow’s status unresolved, it’s possible Grier will be promoted to the active roster for Week 1 and serve as QB2 behind Jake Browning.
During the preseason, Grier was 64-of-84 (76.2 percent) for a league-leading 640 yards (7.6 yards per attempt), four touchdowns and two interceptions.
Browning, meanwhile, was 32-of-45 (71.1 percent) for 277 yards (6.2 yards per attempt), one touchdown and two interceptions.
Head coach Zac Taylor has refused to divulge any information about his star quarterback’s status for the season opener at Cleveland on Sept. 10.
Per ESPN, Taylor only offered a “We’ll see” when asked if Burrow would practice during the final week of August.
He strained his calf early in training camp and hasn’t practiced in the month-plus since.
It’s hard to imagine Cincinnati would start Burrow in Week 1 without practicing at all. Before signing Grier, Browning was the only other quarterback on the roster after Trevor Siemian was cut.
The Bengals’ chances of winning take a massive hit without Burrow, let’s be clear, but they needed to improve their depth at quarterback and Grier was one of the best options based on 2023 preseason performance.
The best thing about the addition is Cincinnati didn’t need to give up anything. It just had to sit back and wait for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to cause unnecessary drama.