Roddrick Muckelroy was one of the most unexpected casualties after Friday’s roster cut downs to the 53-man limit. Muckelroy started three preseason games at middle linebacker while Rey Maualuga was sidelined with a knee sprain. The Bengals opted to keep rising undrafted rookie Vontaze Burfict. Friday night, Roddrick Muckelroy – now free from the restrictions of Marvin Lewis’ Twitter ban – tweeted his gratitude for his opportunities in Cincinnati.
The Bengals decided to keep seven wide receivers on their 53-man roster – an unusual decision when compared to previous seasons particularly during Marvin Lewis’ tenure. As we try to sort out and speculate on what seven receivers actually means on the current roster, another decision may require some minimal closure from a fan perspective: What led to Marvin Lewis’ preference of Vontaze Burfict making the cut over Muckelroy?
According to Joe Reedy of the Enquirer, Marvin Lewis simply considers Burfict the best option:
Said Lewis on why the team went with Burfict over Muckelroy: "He’s been the guy who has played the best. He’s done the things he needed to do on special teams and defense."
Fair enough. Burfict has played to Marvin’s expectations this offseason. There’s no arguing that Burfict has an attractive upside as a big, physical defensive playmaker. As mentioned earlier this summer, Marvin Lewis sought out Burfict with determination following Arizona’s Pro Day. Lewis clearly had his eye on Burfict, and considering he’s played up to Lewis’ expectations it’s no surprise the Bengals are not letting go of an early round draft talent at the price of an undrafted rookie.