Weeks before this fine Sunday afternoon, we've kept hearing that the Bengals are likely cutting ties with Bryant. While it made sense, considering the team rebuilt their weapons in the passing game, it still didn't make sense on other fronts. Couldn't the Bengals just place him on IR? With Owens only paying a one-year contract and Chad Ochocinco entering an option year in 2011, it's possible the team would need Bryant next year. Would Mike Brown really eat the money given to Bryant, or would he find some way to have his investment returned?
In truth, Bryant's lack of participation put the team in a bind while figuring out what their wide receiver roster would look like in 2010. What talented receiver would they have to dump for a guy that's simply not playing?
Either way, the question on Bryant is answered.
According to Joe Reedy, the Bengals terminated the contract to Antonio Bryant Sunday afternoon.
After signing Bryant to a four-year deal with $28 million with $8 million guaranteed, the former Bengals wide receiver was plagued by a knee injury that he simply wasn't ready to overcome. Along with Terrell Owens signing, the Bengals drafted Jermaine Gresham at tight end and Jordan Shipley, giving the team enough weapons in the passing game to make Bryant worthless in keeping around.
This, of course, brings up questions.
Why didn't the Bengals know about Bryant's knee issue and if they did, why did they sign him anyway? Why did the Bengals allow Bryant to practice during the first day of Training Camp, only to make him ineligible for the Physically Unable to Perform list that would have granted the team a roster exemption through the first six weeks of the season? He wouldn't practice again after that.
The Enquirer's Joe Reedy says that (unofficially), the Bengals have eaten $6.95 million on Bryant.
Along with Bryant, the Bengals also cut long snapper Mike Windt and officially placed safety Gibril Wilson on IR, pushing their roster down to 77. The team will have to make two additional cuts before 4 PM this Tuesday.