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Presenting the Cincinnati Bengals 53-man Roster; and immediate reaction, of course

Now that the cuts are announced, let's make one thing clear. It's very unlikely that this is the final 53-man roster that will kickoff the season next weekend. With players being released and waived, the Bengals, like all other 31 NFL teams can pour over available players. If they decide to put a claim on a player, they will be sixth in line. If the other fives teams decide not to claim the player that the Bengals are interested in, then that player can be signed by the Bengals.

Let's take a look at the existing roster.

Quarterback (3) Carson Palmer Defensive Ends (5) Antwan Odom
  J.T. O'Sullivan   Robert Geathers
  Jordan Palmer   Michael Johnson
      Jonathan Fanene
Running back (4) Cedric Benson   Frostee Rucker
  Bernard Scott    
  Brian Leonard Defensive Tackles (3) Domata Peko
  DeDe Dorsey   Pat Sims
      Tank Johnson
Fullbacks (1) Jeremi Johnson    
    Linebackers (6) Keith Rivers
Tight End (3) Daniel Coats   Dhani Jones
  Chase Coffman   Rashad Jeanty
  J.P. Foschi   Rey Maualuga
      Brandon Johnson
Wide Receivers (6) Chad Ochocinco   Abdul Hodge
  Laveranues Coles    
  Chris Henry Cornerbacks (5) Johnathan Joseph
  Andre Caldwell   Leon Hall
  Jerome Simpson   David Jones
  Quan Cosby   Geoffrey Pope
      Morgan Trent
Offensive Line (10) Andrew Whitworth    
  Anthony Collins Safeties (5) Chris Crocker
  Bobbie Williams   Roy Williams
  Nate Livings   Chinedum Ndukwe
  Kyle Cook   Tom Nelson
  Andre Smith *   Kyries Hebert
  Jonathan Luigs    
  Scott Kooistra Special (3) Shayne Graham
  Evan Mathis   Kevin Huber
  Dennis Roland   Brad St. Louis

* Andre Smith has a roster exemption until September 14.

Immediate Reaction and Notes

  • We projected that the Bengals would take eight defensive linemen; we split it up four and four. While the Bengals actually did take eight, they went heavy with defensive ends, keeping oft-injured Frostee Rucker. I actually don't have a problem with this because Rucker can make plays. The only issue with him has been durability. If he has an injury-free season, he could be a surprise player. On the other hand, he missed two preseason games this year.
  • Can the Bengals sustain a three-man defensive tackle rotation? Rucker and Fanene both have experience playing defensive tackle also -- maybe the biggest reason for keeping Rucker.
  • The more we started thinking about it, we realized the Bengals would take five backs; four of whom could be running backs.
  • In the weeks leading up to today, I've watched J.P. Foschi and started feeling that the Bengals might keep him around. He's a decent blocker and I feel he could be a decent third-string Tight End in the NFL. However, he could also be babysitting the position if the Bengals sign someone after all of the cuts are final. In our projections, we thought it might make the team better keeping a second fullback than a third Tight End.
  • Save for Marvin White, all players that were waived -- 17 in all -- are eligible for the practice squad.
  • Somehow, I'm not surprised that Antonio Chatman went on Injured Reserved.
  • I thought cutting Darryl Blackstock was somewhat of a surprise. However, he wasn't replaced. The Bengals simply took six linebackers. He would have likely been the seventh.
  • I was very happy with Abdul Hodge making the team and felt, as we watched preseason unfold, that he was a lock for the sixth linebacker slot.
  • The Cincinnati Bengals tweet that David Jones and Scott Kooistra are the only players not healthy heading into the opener.