One of the Bengals’ closest roster battles has been decided. Darius Hillary will not make the roster as the final cornerback, as Jim Owczarski reports the rookie corner is being waived.
That could mean veteran Chykie Brown made the final roster as the sixth corner, if the Bengals keep six. That battle was essentially down to Brown and Hillary. Both shined at various points in the preseason, but both also had some bad struggles throughout.
It would not be a surprise to see both Brown and Hillary cut and the Bengals keep just five corners for the time being. However, the ankle injury that Darqueze Dennard is dealing with could force the Bengals to keep a sixth corner, but it will not be Hillary.
Even after drafting William Jackson III in the first round of this year’s NFL draft, the Bengals were quick to sign Hillary as an undrafted free agent. The former Wisconsin Badgers corner was one of three Bengals on the 90-man roster who played college football in Madison with the Badgers, joining undrafted receiver Alex Erickson and veteran guard Kevin Zeitler. Erickson and Zeitler will be on the 53-man roster.
Darius’ father, Ira Hillary, played for the Bengals from 1987-1989 as a wide receiver and defensive back. Ira was also part of the last Super Bowl team the Bengals had. That relationship and seeing many undrafted players go to Cincinnati and make the final roster helped make picking the Bengals an easy call for Hillary after the draft.
Even though Hillary did not make the final cut, he did enough that another team may claim him on waivers, but if nothing else, the Bengals will try and get him on the practice squad tomorrow.