The Cincinnati Bengals have made a pair of roster moves following the opening of organized team activities this week. The team announced that fullback Andrew Bonnet had been signed.
In order to make room for Bonnet, backup kicker Jonathan Brown was given the waived/injured designation due to a foot injury. That means Brown could revert to the team's Injured Reserve list if he clears waivers, which he probably will, given his background or lack thereof. A foot injury for a backup kicker certainly isn't a good thing.
A soccer standout who started his college career at Kentucky before transferring to Louisville, Brown went from being a soccer scholarship player for the Cardinals to taking a shot as a walk-on for the football team as a kicker.
However, Brown rarely saw action behind starter John Wallace, who was the team's top kick every year since 2013. Per the school's website, Brown had one kickoff for 65 yards but never attempted a field goal.
As for Bonnet, he joins the Bengals after a productive career with the North Dakota State Bison, which included five Football Championship Series wins.
After redshirting his freshman year in Fargo, Bonnet went from being a partial scholarship player to earning a full ride by his junior season. He played 55 games and earned five FCS rings with the Bison, who put Bonnet in multiple spots in their offense, but primarily used him at fullback early on.
But Bonnet began playing tight end and h-back because of his versatility and pass-catching skills, a similar role to what Ryan Hewitt does for the Bengals. With Hewitt down for the time being after a minor procedure, it makes sense for the Bengals to find as close of a clone to him as they could, and it sounds like Bonnet fits the bill.
In 61 games with the Bison, Bonnet caught 56 balls for 574 yards and eight touchdowns. He finished his senior season with 11 catches for 105 yards and three touchdowns after grabbing 18 passes for 228 yards and two scores as a junior.
After not hearing his name called in the 2016 NFL Draft, Bonnet signed as a free agent with the Carolina Panthers, but was later released on May 20th. Hopefully he can find a home with the Bengals, even if it is only on the practice squad in 2016.
That's what Bonnet's future in Cincinnati looks like for the time being unless he can show off his abilities as a pass-catcher enough that the Bengals keep him as essentially a backup tight end. It certainly sounds like he's got the potential to be just that.