The Bengals will soon be able to get back both Dontay Moch and Pat Sims soon (and Kyle Cook later on hopefully). Moch is serving a 4 game suspension and Sims is on PUP and eligible to practice after week 6. I believe Cook can return on Week 8. So pretty soon here, the Bengals will need to decide how to open up roster spots. We currently have 7 WRs - and we only had 5 active last game. Whalen and Marvin Jones were listed as inactive. Even if we only had 6 WRs - we would still only activate 5 as we are short handed elsewhere.
So, seeing as how we need TWO extra roster spots - my thought is why not trade Whalen now while we still can get something for him. We are heavy at the WR position with a lot of good, young talent, so I don't see the need to keep Whalen. I could see trading Brandon Tate as well, but he is valuable on Special Teams. The Colts just lost Austin Collie for the year and I believe they would have snatched up Whalen had we let him go. Why not see what they are offering for the trade? Patriots maybe? They recently resigned Deion Branch and signed Kellen Winslow. Maybe they would be interested in Whalen?
So who goes to free up the 2nd roster spot? I would release the TE we picked up earlier (Richard Quinn). I understand that Gruden favors 2 TE formations, but we have Gresham and Charles. Hopefully, Donald Lee can come back from his injury - but if not - he might be a candidate to be released as well. You could release Donald Lee, pick up another free roster spot, and keep Quinn if you really liked him.
The other option is to release Trevor Robinson or Dennis Roland. Robinson is the only backup Center AND Guard we have on the team (without taking into account Cook's hopeful return). We could roll the dice, cut Robinson, and cross our fingers that neither of our starting Guards or Center goes down with injury AND that Cook is able to come back. OR we can cut Roland with Collins as the only backup to both Tackle spots. Personally, I wouldn't release any offensive linemen till I KNEW how Cook's rehab of injury was going. If forced to choose between the 2 - I would release Roland.
The other other option is to release one of the LBs to make room for Moch. We would then keep 6 LBs, which seems a little low to me. I know we need every single DB, so we can't cut there. We can't cut DL as they are already playing Gilberry just to give a breather. Maybe cut a RB? I don't know.
Personally, to make room for Moch, Sims, and Cook - I would ideally trade Whalen, drop Quinn, and (depending on Cook's recovery), drop Trevor Robinson or Dennis Roland.