The Bengals’ first wave of roster cuts included the biggest name they may end up cutting this year, which is none other than Brandon Tate.
While this may come off as a 'good riddance' move by the Bengals, being that they just included Tate in a wave of cuts with players who may never sniff a 53-man roster, it's actually quite the opposite.
The Bengals cut Tate now because they wanted him to get the chance to sign with another team before the regular season opens. Now that Tate is a free agent, he'll have almost five days to find a new team before the 53-man rosters are made. That, in turn, allows other teams to better research Tate and find a way to add him to their roster.
So yes, the Bengals are very grateful for what Tate has given them ever since joining the team in 2011. Now entering his eighth NFL season, Tate was primed to be the Bengals' main returner once again, but undrafted free agent Alex Erickson has shined in that role this preseason, not to mention being a more effective pass-catcher on offense.
It frankly got to the point where the Bengals had no option but to keep Erickson, which ultimately was what cost Tate his job. A career full of decent returns but little splash and very few game-changing plays are now gone with Tate.
But was this the right move? Say what you will about Tate, but he's as reliable of a returner as you'll find in the NFL, as evidenced by just one fumble in the 2015 season. He doesn't help your return unit much, but he won't hurt it either, not to mention Tate is effective on other special teams roles, too. Tate was also the most veteran Bengals wide receiver. Now, the Bengals will enter the season with a very young receiving corp.
We wish Tate the best of luck going forward.