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Bengals will need to release five players by September 1

By September 1 (this Tuesday), all teams are mandated to lower their roster to 75 players. That number is dramatically reduced to 53 on September 5 (next Saturday), which is the league-wide cutdown day. With 80 players currently on roster, the Bengals will be forced to cut five by this Tuesday. While I won't name players, I believe they'll address three positions at least. And if Andre Smith decides to join us before Tuesday, the team will need to cut six.

Wide Receiver. With ten wide receivers, the Bengals are not likely to carry all of them into the final preseason game. Chad Ochocinco, Laveranues Coles, Chris Henry and Andre Caldwell are locks. Jerome Simpson is likely making the squad and the Bengals will only take six receivers into the regular season. That leaves Quan Cosby, Freddie Brown, Maurice Purify, Greg Orton and Antonio Chatman. Purify and Cosby, I believe, make it to final cutdown day -- especially Cosby who has enough skills on punt return to keep him in the discussion. Freddie Brown and Greg Orton I'm not sure about and Antonio Chatman could be an example of either. Do they want to wait until the last possible second to cut him, or do they figure Chatman is unlikely to make the team anyway based on serious durability issues and make the move now?

Tight Ends. Even if Ben Utecht misses the rest of the season after suffering a nasty concussion early during Training Camp, the Bengals have six Tight Ends on the roster. You figure Chase Coffman and Daniel Coats are locks. Utecht would be the team's third, and likely final, Tight End. This leaves J.P. Foschi, Darius Hill, Matt Sherry and Kolo Kapanui. Between the four, Foschi is the only player to catch a pass -- a 20-yard reception against the Rams. Since signing with the team, Sherry has dealt with constant injuries.

Fullbacks. While it is possible the Bengals take two Tight Ends into the regular season, they're likely only taking one. Furthermore, Jeremi Johnson is making improvements that could see him solidify his spot at the team's starting fullback. However, based on the level of competition, I'm not sure the Bengals make any roster moves by Tuesday. Based on the theory that Johnson resumes his role as starting fullback, the Bengals will want to see which of the two remaining fullbacks they can place on the practice squad, if they decide on taking one into the regular season.

How does the positions breakdown right now?

QB 3 DE 8
RB 5 DT 6
FB 3 LB 9
TE 7 CB 7
WR 10 S 7
C 2    
G 5 Special 4
T 4    
Total 39 Total 41