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90-in-90 Bengals Roster Breakdown: Is Pat Sims on the roster bubble?

The Bengals gave Pat Sims a two-year contract this offseason, but does that mean his roster spot is secure? 

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NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals have plenty of depth at defensive tackle. That's primarily due to so much veteran experience at this position between Geno Atkins, Domata Peko, Brandon Thompson and Pat Sims.

Sims is entering his ninth NFL season, five of which having already been spent with the Bengals. The team originally drafted Sims in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft out of Auburn.

Sims' specialty is his 6'2", 340-pound frame adding bulk and push to the middle of the defensive line. He would go on to play five seasons in Cincinnati while being part of a valuable defensive line rotation.

But Sims left in 2013 to pursue more playing time and money with the Raiders, where he racked up 54 total tackles and two sacks while becoming a force along their line. His production dropped into a rotational role in 2014, and the Raiders opted not to re-sign him the following offseason.

That led to Sims taking a one-year, $870,000 deal with Cincinnati that didn't even ensure he'd make the final 53-man roster. Despite a strong push from younger guys like DeShawn Williams, Sims made it through final cuts and went on to battle Brandon Thompson for backup tackle snaps.

Sims ended up not playing much last season, appearing in just eight games while making 16 tackles. When he did play, Sims made his presence felt as he was a nice situational run-stuffer. He also helped contribute to a Bengals defense that finished seventh vs the run in 2015 after finishing 20th in 2014.

Sims’ best game came in Week 10 against the Texans. In 20 snaps, Sims racked up a season-high six tackles and was key in Cincinnati holding Houston to just 82 yards on 25 carries (3.3 ypc) in a 10-6 loss. He also registered a +2.2 Pro Football Focus grade, the third-highest mark any Bengal earned in that game.

You could also argue his biggest performance was the Wild Card game vs the Steelers. Sims would play most of the second half as Brandon Thompson was out due to a torn ACL, while Domata Peko missed much of the game due to an ankle injury.

Sims would respond by helping make a big pass deflection and sack in the fourth quarter.

But take away those two games, and Sims was essentially a ghost in 2015. Even though the Bengals gave him a two-year deal this offseason, that far from assures him of a roster spot this year.

Player Info

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 330 lbs

Age: 30

College: Auburn

Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, FL

Experience: 9th-Year Player


2016 Stock

The Bengals gave Sims a new two-year deal this offseason. It will pay him just over $1 million per year with $250,000 in guarantees this year. In theory, the Bengals might not want to Cut Sims and lose that much money, but in reality, this by no means guarantees that Sims will be on the roster this season.

Roster Chances

The Bengals should not hesitate to cut Sims if the other tackles are out-performing him in training camp and the preseason. That may very well happen with DeShawn Williams back and looking to build off last year’s preseason success and time spent on the practice squad.

The addition of Andrew Billings also gives the Bengals a situational run-stuff with far more upside than Sims has now into his 30s. There’s also Marcus Hardison who could double as a tackle and defensive end, and it looks very likely he makes the roster this year.

And we can’t count out Brandon Thompson, even coming off his ACL tear. All of this is why Sims’ chances at making the final roster are much lower than many seem to think.

For now, I give Sims a 60-percent shot at making the final roster. The Bengals know what they have in him and are paying Sims like a player they believe will make an impact this year.