We are all well aware of the brutal reality awaiting the Bengals 'front office'. Without a doubt several of the players let go this year will quickly become serious contributors on other teams. This should come as no surprise considering we've already seen teams like Kansas City routinely digging around in our dumpster.
I've decided to make the tough cuts myself and you can all follow along using the Bengals.com depth chart as a visual aid if you like.
First Cuts: (in no particular order)
- G. Manns, OT
- I. Sowells, OG
- A. Mitchell, OT
- J. Sears, CB
- J. Miles, S
- T. Nelson, S
- C. McDonald, DT
- C. Harris, LS
- D. Rayner, K
- D. Hill, TE
- V. Rey, OLB
- M. Purify, WR
I wouldn't be surprised if a few players among this first group racked up some stats with other teams this year (by that I mean 10-15 tackles or a few catches). Rayner, Nelson, Miles, McDonald, and Rey likely have the best shots at quickly signing with another team.
Tough Cuts: (in no particular order)
- A. Hodge, MLB
- R. Murray, S
- J. Tronzo, FB
- C. Peerman, RB
- Q. Cosby, WR
- M. Jones, WR
- D. Jones, CB
- O. Harris, DT
- J. O'Sullivan, QB
I'm convinced that the team has seen enough of J.T. O'Sullivan, Jordan Palmer has shown serious improvement in his accuracy and timing. More importantly there are guys on the street who can play as well as, if not better than, J.T. like Jeff Garcia. These are players waiting for a loaded team like us to lose their top arm. For this reason we keep only two QBs.
Cosby and Matt Jones we're cut in favor of Andre Caldwell and Jerome Simpson. Instead of arguing the choices I'll just note that we can't keep nine receivers. To me, Antonio Bryant and the Bengals seem determined to utilize the receiver this year, which means they'll have to save him a spot on the roster.
Aside from those quick arguments there is a slim chance any of the above players make the team. I bet that most of them take the field regularly for another team this year, though.
Final Cuts: (from easiest to toughest)
It will be near impossible for us to keep more than six receivers, especially since Leonard may be out for a handful of games and we'll need an additional running back slot. I feel like Bryant, Caldwell, and Simpson are the best choice for the back three receivers. Briscoe will likely be grabbed from the waiver wire before he can land on our practice squad.
Skuta is a great special-teamer, but I see his tryout at fullback as a longshot to save his spot on the squad. The tough choice is really deciding if 4th rounder Roddrick Muckelroy can fill Skuta's role with special teams coach Darren Simmons.
The versatility of Dan Coats has kept him around a long time much to the ire of most fans. I saw a solid catch from him finally during the Broncos game but Chase Coffman has really been coming along and Reggie Kelly is back and strong.
The hardest cut by far is Hebert. His presence is needed on special teams. He' can't play much defense, however, and the aggressive downhill play of Brandon Ghee has looked promising enough that he should be able to take Kyries' spot. Ghee may also end up being very versatile in the secondary.
THE FINAL 53:
QB (2): Palmer, Palmer
RB (4): Benson, Scott, Leonard, J. Johnson
FB (1): Vakapuna
TE (3): Gresham, Kelly, Coffman
WR (6): Ochocinco, Owens, Shipley, Caldwell, Simpson, Bryant
OT (4): Whitworth, Roland, Smith, Collins
OG (4): B. Williams, Livings, Mathis, Hudson
C (2): Cook, Stephens
LS (1): Windt
K (1): Nugent
P (1): Huber
DE (5): Geathers, Odom, Fanene, Rucker, Dunlap
DT (4): Peko, T. Johnson, Sims, Atkins
OLB (4): Maualuga, Rivers, M. Johnson, B. Johnson
MLB (2): D. Jones, Muckelroy
CB (5): Joseph, Hall, A. Jones, Trent, Ghee
S (4): R. Williams, Crocker, Ndukwe, Wilson
(Rashad Jeanty on PUP list)
That's one concentrated block of championship material