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Former Bengals linebacker P.J. Dawson gets tryout for Buccaneers

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After a tumultuous stint with the Bengals, the former third round pick recently had a tryout with Tampa Bay after being released by Cincinnati.

NFL: San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The excitement from when the Bengals selected former TCU linebacker P.J. Dawson in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft was extensive. He had some good tape along with obvious NFL athleticism, but attitude issues made it easy for the Benals to waive him over Labor Day weekend.

Dawson recently cleared waivers and is currently free to sign with any club, including the Bengals, but it appears he’s looking to get a chance somewhere else. The second-year player recently had a tryout with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, per Kat Terrell of ESPN.

Right now, it seems as if Dawson is looking at a practice squad offer, be it with the Bengals or another team. He could of course get signed to a team’s 53-man roster, but, if a team wanted to sign him, they would need to waive another player. That is what happened in Cincinnati when the Bengals brought quarterback Jeff Driskel on board and waived Dawson in the process.

“We were going to add another player some way or another,” Marvin Lewis said of Dawson’s departure and Driskel’s addition. “He (Dawson) just unfortunately ended up being the player we were willing to part with.”

As it currently stands, the Buccaneers have a decent group of starters at linebacker. Kwon Alexander is the starter in the middle, and he’s flanked by Lavonte David and longtime veteran, Daryl Smith on the outside.

As a senior for the Horned Frogs, Dawson had an outstanding 2014 season. He finished the year with 136 tackles (20 for loss), six quarterback sacks, three interceptions, three forced fumbles and three more recoveries. Many also believed the Bengals had a steal by getting Dawson at the end of the third round, even with whispers of maturity issues.

Unfortunately, that on-field college success didn’t translate to the Bengals in his only season with the club last year. Dawson played in 12 games, mostly on special teams, racking up just 11 tackles.