The New York Giants are trading defensive tackle B.J. Hill to the Cincinnati Bengals for offensive lineman Billy Price.
Trade: The #Giants are trading BJ Hill to the #Bengals and receiving former first-rounder Billy Price.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 30, 2021
Head Coach Joe Judge refused to confirm the move in his press conference Monday afternoon that the trade is in the works because it isn't official yet. However, the trade goes a long way to explain why Hill was a healthy scratch from Sunday Night's game against the New England Patriots.
Judge said that there was a "lot of interest" in Hill from teams around the League.
"I think he’s a starting defensive lineman in this league,” Judge said. “He’s in the last year of his contract and I think this is an opportunity to improve our team and also to put a player we have a lot of respect for in a position to go out there and get paid starter money.”
Price was originally drafted by the Bengals in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft as a center out of Ohio State. But while Price was drafted as a center, he played significant snaps at both guards during three seasons with the Bengals.
Coming into the 2018 draft I had Price ranked as my top center and one of my top guard prospects as well.
At the time I wrote:
"There is a lot to like about Billy Price.
Personally, I have him as my top-rated center because I believe he can play in man-gap, inside zone, and outside zone schemes, and coming from Ohio State, you know he is well prepared for the NFL.
Adding to his value, I think he has the potential to be one of the top guards in the class as well as center — in fact, that might even be his best position if the team that drafts him primarily uses outside zone runs. His raw power and aggression will translate well to guard, and though he isn’t as nimble as James Daniels (in this draft class) or Weston Richburg, Price has excellent feet for a guard."
The Bengals declined to pick up Price's fifth-year option going into the 2020 season following a start to his career that was plagued by injuries and inconsistent play. Price suffered a torn pectoral at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine and dealt with back issues in 2019.
There were doubts that Price would even make the Bengals' 53-man roster after Cincinnati declined to pick up his option. However, a return to health and improved coaching led to improved play by Price.
He was a part of an offensive line that didn't give up a single sack in the three preseason games. And while Pro Football Focus grades should be taken with a grain of salt, they do hint at improvement over the previous three years.
Price received a 55.5 grade in 2018, a 41.9 grade in 2019, and a 50.7 grade in 2020.
Stay with Big Blue View for more on the Giants roster moves as we get them.