The Bengals have made a surprising move and waived 2015 third round draft pick, P.J. Dawson. The linebacker out of TCU was the 99th pick in last year’s draft.
The Bengals rarely give up on a draft pick this quickly. In fact, cutting Dawson is the earliest release of a third round Bengals draft pick since Brandon Ghee was cut in 2011 after three years with the Bengals. Dawson was a healthy scratch in the Bengals’ third preseason game, but did play in the first, second and fourth games.
Dawson had 10 tackles in the three preseason games played this year. He wasn't as flashy as he was during his rookie preseason, but he did have a few nice plays. In the 2015 preseason he had 18 tackles and 2 sacks. Dawson was active during 11 games in 2015, but rarely saw the field on defense as he was buried on the depth chart.
Since Dawson was drafted, there have been reports questioning his work ethic and attitude. It’s unclear what exactly caused his release today but it’s interesting that the the Bengals decided to take him off the roster so quickly, and instead give roster spots to linebackers Marquis Flowers and Trevor Roach. According to Roach’s agent, he’s going to be active in Week 1 against the Jets.
If Dawson clears waivers, he could join the Bengals’ practice squad, should they choose to sign him there. It’s possible he would not clear waivers if another team wants to take a chance on him. The Bengals currently have only nine players on their practice squad. We will find out on Monday if Dawson clears waivers.
This seems to be the most surprising decision by the Bengals so far this weekend.