The Cincinnati Bengals just wrapped up OTAs as they held their final minicamp session on Thursday.
They were quick to make one last roster move before the players head off into a six-week summer break as linebacker Gionni Paul was waived on Thursday.
Of all the undrafted free agents Cincinnati signed this offseason, Paul was one of the highest-ranked players heading into the 2016 NFL Draft. A stud backer for the Utah Utes, Paul was someone who seemed to have a future in the NFL if he was able to overcome his 5'10", 231-pound frame to play linebacker in this league.
In 2015, Paul earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors after registering 117 tackles, four interceptions, three fumble recoveries and 12.5 tackles for loss in 13 starts while earning First-Team All-Pac-12 honors.
"He's small, but he's a good football player. Here's the thing -- he had big off-field issues that helped run him out of Miami, and I think he's a red-flagged character guy pure and simple. Hard to get drafted when you're small and have concerns about your character," an NFC Pac-12 scout said via NFL.com.
Paul is actually from Florida and played his freshman and sophomore years at University of Miami (FL). During his sophomore year at Miami, Paul started seven games at outside linebacker and finished third on the team with 61 total tackles including 40 solo stops. He was a two-time ACC Linebacker of the Week while at Miami.
After transferring to Utah in 2013, he sat out that year before playing in eight games in 2014 prior to season-ending injury. He bounced back nicely with his big 2015 season that had him looking like a draftable prospect.
It seems Paul was unable to impress the Bengals enough to stick on the roster and he will now look to make his mark in this league with another team. He was already facing long odds of making the Bengals practice squad with as many talented and experienced linebackers as they have. Perhaps this was a mutual parting once he realized this.
The Bengals have not yet made a corresponding move to get their roster up to 90-men.