The Cincinnati Bengals have released quarterback John Johnson, safety Erick Dargan and defensive lineman Kalafitoni Pole, the team announced Tuesday.
The moves don't come as much of a surprise. Dargan and Pole haven't played much in the preseason or received many reps in training camp. Johnson, who was fighting AJ McCarron for the backup QB spot seems to have lost the competition after McCarron's NFL debut last night. With Johnson now gone, only Keith Wenning and McCarron are left behind Andy Dalton and McCarron has all but secured the backup spot.
Johnson was originally a fifth-round pick out of San Diego by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008. He was ironically drafted by Jon Gruden, the older brother of former Bengals offensive coordinator, Jay Gruden. That's what helped Johnson land a job as Andy Dalton's backup in the 2013 season before being cut the following offseason.
In his career, Johnson has completed 96 of 177 passes for 1,042 yards, five touchdowns and 10 interceptions for a 57.7 career quarterback rating.
As for Dargan, he signed with the Bengals as an undrafted free agent out of Oregon this offseason. Dargan led the Pac-12 in interceptions (7) and led Oregon with 95 total tackles and 61 solo tackles this past season. Most scouting services had a draftable grade on Dargan, and NFL.com's Lance Zierlein called Dargan a "Round 7 or priority free agent."
Pole also signed with Cincinnati this offseason as an undrafted free agent out of Washington State. The former Washington State nose tackle generated 14 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss last season. As a Junior in 2013, Pole racked up 28 tackles, three tackles-for-loss, two quarterback sacks and forced one fumble.