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Trey Hendrickson wants to be with Bengals for 'a long time,' bring Super Bowl to Cincinnati 

Trey Hendrickson wants to get paid. He also wants to bring a Super Bowl to Cincinnati.

That dichotomy spurred the edge rusher to attend voluntary offseason workouts despite submitting a trade request last month due to contract inadequacies.

"This is where separating business and the team is difficult. At what point am I contradicting what I want?" Hendrickson told Geoff Hobson of the team's 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."

Hendrickson is coming off a career-high 17.5 sacks. No other Bengal had more than six last season. He finished tied for second-most sacks in the NFL last season.

"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."

The 29-year-old is set to make $14.8 million in 2024 and $15.8 million in 2025 but has zero guaranteed dollars left on his pact. Last year, the Bengals gave him a pay boost in the form of a one-year extension that included an $8 million signing bonus and increased his 2023 deal by $5 million.

Hendrickson's $21 million annual average ranks 11th among edge rushers. He wants a pay bump more in line with his production and worth.

Hendrickson added that he holds no animosity toward the Bengals' front office, noting that they were "transparent and respectful" in his search for a pay increase.

In an ideal world, Hendrickson would get a raise to remain in Cincy and to chase that Lombardi Trophy. Lacking a "have your cake and eat it too" option, he's plowing forward as a leader to at least give himself a shot at the on-field goal.

"I want to help Dax Hill play corner. I want to help make the linebacker reads easier for Germaine (Pratt) and Logan (Wilson). I want to help get the ball back for Joey (Burrow)," Hendrickson said. "What the 2024, 2025 Bengals look like, today was the first brick.

"We got to see rookies run through bags with the veterans. We got together to meet as a defense, and we began to see how we'll interact. It's the first look at what we'll be and for me not to be there or to let my frustrations pour over into the defensive meeting room is not right."

The Bengals have won a lot since Hendrickson arrived in free agency, going 31-19 in three seasons, with a trip to a Super Bowl and a loss in an AFC Championship Game. He wants that silver-plated prize next.

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

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