The Cincinnati Bengals have signed six players to Reserve/Future contracts.
Wide receiver Michael Bennett, linebacker Jayson DiManche, offensive guard Trey Hopkins, wide receiver Jake Kumerow, tight end Matt Lengel, and linebacker Jeff Luc are all signed and set to become members of the 90-man offseason Bengals roster. They will not count on the team’s Active List until Feb. 8, the Monday after the Super Bowl. These players join safety Floyd Raven, kicker Zach Hocker and defensive end Dezmond Johnson who were signed to future contracts last week.
All of the players signed today except Luc were on the Bengals' practice squad as of last week. Luc, who signed as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Cincinnati last year, was with the Miami Dolphins in the 2015 preseason and finished the year on the New Orleans Saints practice squad.
A 6-foot, 251-pound inside linebacker, Luc was scouted by the Bengals last offseason as linebackers coach Matt Burke watched him at the UC Bearcats' Pro Day. Luc ran the 40-yard dash in 4.61 and 4.57 seconds. He had a 34-inch vertical and an 8-10 broad jump while running the short shuttle in 4.56 and the 3-cone drill in 7.30 seconds.
Luc joined University of Cincinnati in the summer of 2012 after playing two seasons at Florida State. He went on to record 177 tackles (90 solo), eight forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and six pass deflections from 2013-14, but still went undrafted last year after being projected as a 6th or 7th-round pick.
As for the other five guys, Kumerow was arguably the one who came closest to making the 53-man roster last season after a solid training camp. He also had a good showing in the preseason for the Bengals while hauling in six passes for 65 yards (10.8 avg.). It was not enough to beat out the likes of Mario Alford, Brandon Tate, and Greg Little for roster spots at receiver, and he's been on the practice squad ever since.
Lengel signed as an undrafted free agent out of EKU this past season. He would end up being waived during final roster cuts before making the practice squad. He's seen as more of a blocking tight end than a pass-catcher.
Bennett also signed as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia this past offseason. He didn't sign until training camp was ending and was waived during final roster cuts, but did eventually make the practice squad mid-season.
Hopkins originally signed as an undrafted free agent out of Texas in 2014, but spent his rookie season on Injured/Reserve due to a knee injury. He re-joined the team last year and fought hard for an interior offensive lineman spot, but ultimately was waived and signed to the practice squad.
DiManche is back with the Bengals after joining their practice squad last week.
It's worth noting that running back Terrell Watson, cornerback Asa Jackson, running back James Wilder Jr., and quarterback Mike Kafka have not yet been signed to future deals after ending the season on Cincinnati's practice squad.
They've not reportedly signed with anyone else yet though, so it's possible the Bengals sign them in the coming weeks. You may recall Wilder ended the 2014 season on the Bengals' practice squad, but wasn't among the initial list of players who signed future contracts as soon as the season ended; he did eventually re-join the Bengals.