The New York Jets announced a host of roster cuts Sunday, including wide receiver/return man Jacoby Ford.
The former Oakland Raiders speedster signed a one-year contract in March with the hope of winning a spot on a receiving corps in transition, but he disappointed in the preseason -- three catches for 19 yards in three games.
Ford's release was a mild surprise since he was listed as the Jets' top kickoff returner. The connection to Cincinnati is new Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson.
During the offseason in 2011, Jackson praised Ford in an effort to play him more as receiver, and not just a returner.
"This guy scores touchdowns. We have quite a few guys on our football team that are able to stick the ball in the endzone," Jackson told the NFL Network during the summer of 2011.
"But obviously Jacoby is gonna become a household name because he has some very special ability. He's very good with the ball in his hands. He's very good without the ball in his hands because he draws a lot of attention. This guy is one of the most explosive kick returners in football. And I think he's just scratching the surface on what he can do."
With Marvin Jones injured and Mohamed Sanu and AJ Green looking like the only capable receivers, Ford might be a slight upgrade over Cobi Hamilton, Ryan Whalen and maybe even Dane Sanzenbacher.
That said, Ford might not even make the 53-man roster if Cincinati were to sign him, but it wouldn't hurt to pick him up and see what he can do in the final preseason game on Thursday night.
At this point, Green Sanu, Jones Sanzenbacher and Brandon Tate are going to be the first five WRs Cincinnati carries into the regular season. They need a sixth man, and thus far, no one has shown they are worth it. At least Ford could offer something on the return unit, where the Bengals have made it clear they want more production from in 2014.
Ford has four career kickoff-returns for touchdowns compared to Tate's two. Ford could at least offer another option on kickoff returns, where it seems Tate is the only viable option right now.