We had a feeling the Cincinnati Bengals weren't done tinkering with their 53-man roster when they set it on Saturday. On Sunday, the team added a third quarterback to their active roster in rookie Jeff Driskel, who was drafted in the sixth round this year by the San Francisco 49ers. Driskel played at both the University of Florida and at Louisiana Tech University and was waived during the final round of cuts. The Bengals placed a waiver claim for Driskel and were awarded with him today.
To make room for Driskel, the Bengals made the surprising move of letting go of second-year linebacker, P.J. Dawson. The former TCU standout was a third round pick last year, but never seemed to get in the coaching staff's good graces. He was used sparingly on defense and special teams last year, playing in 11 games and racking up 12 total tackles.
Before we ask you for your thoughts on the two transactions, let's take a look as to why the moves do and don't make sense.
Why the moves make sense:
Last season's injuries: Most obviously, the Bengals need to look no further than the end of the 2015 season to know that they need insurance policies, should Andy Dalton go down with another injury at any point. There was also a point late last year where AJ McCarron, who was stepping in for Dalton, suffered an in-game injury, so with Keith Wenning never really impressing at points in the preseason, they went with Driskel as their additional backup plan. He's a guy they feel they could develop, as they apparently respect his high-potential skill set.
McCarron trade conspiracy: Question are already arising regarding the Driskel news and if it means the Bengals are secretly shopping McCarron. While it's an outside possibility, there might a suitor willing to pay high dividends to get the third-year signal-caller. After all, a desperate Vikings team gave both a 2017 first and fourth round pick up to obtain Sam Bradford.
Dawson and the coaching staff: While we never specifically heard or saw concrete examples, there were rumblings of the team not liking Dawson's practice habits and attitude. Some may wonder why he was let go instead of others on the roster, but the coaches may have preferred someone who more exemplifies what "being a pro" means.
Coaches opt for reliability of Roach and athleticism of Flowers in replacing Dawson— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) September 4, 2016
Why the moves don't make sense:
Defensive depth issues, so why a quarterback?: Many aren't comfortable with the backup defensive linemen who are currently on the roster, so going after some players at that position who are out there on the free agent market would have brought some relief. While having another quarterback to lean on could be nice, it doesn't seem entirely necessary. I don't want to call Driskel a waste of a pick up, but other positions could have used more help.
What teams would actually be calling for McCarron?: If there is any truth to the theory of the Bengals shopping McCarron, who would come calling now that the Vikings made their move? Would it be Denver? Maybe, but they already invested a first round pick in Paxton Lynch this year and seem to be set with Trevor Siemian. So much so, that big free agent acquisition Mark Sanchez was waived and moved on to Dallas--another team who could be scratched off the trade list. As you go through the scenarios, teams looking to grab McCarron seem scarce.
Vontaze Burfict's suspension: The hope was that Dawson would rise to more prominence and help out more on defense in his second year because of attrition in the linebacker group. Burfict is missing the first three games and the team let go of A.J. Hawk this spring. Instead, Dawson failed to make a big impact in the preseason and the team felt they needed to let him go while adding Driskel.
Do you approve of the Bengals signing Jeff Driskel and letting go of P.J. Dawson?