Despite the final stages of the offseason and preseason being recently completed, the Bengals appear to still be looking at making changes and improvements to their roster. According to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post and Houston Chronicle, the Bengals brought in former Broncos hybrid edge rusher, Sadat Sulleyman and cornerback Robertson Daniel who has spent time with the Raiders and Packers.
Bengals worked out linebacker-defensive end Sadat Sulleyman on Tuesday— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) September 7, 2016
Bengals worked out cornerback Robertson Daniel today, according to a source. He previously worked out for Chiefs— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) September 7, 2016
Arguably, one of the Bengals’ weakest positions right now is at the edge rusher spot. With the departure of Emmanuel Lamur and Wallace Gillberry in free agency, the suspension of Vontaze Burfict, and the release of project linebacker P.J. Dawson earlier this week (who has now returned via the practice squad), the Bengals just aren’t looking very solid at a position that once looked to be one of their strongest attributes. It’s a situation that has caused the Bengals to rely on fringe options like Margus Hunt and Marquis Flowers, though they each did well in the preseason.
As an undrafted rookie out of Portland State, Sulleyman isn’t exactly a household name. The Broncos picked him up after the draft with the hopes of taking advantage of his work ethic, impressive use of hands, and versatility to play both linebacker and defensive end. But, unfortunately, despite playing consistently well in the preseason, the Broncos just didn’t have room for him on their roster.
Sulleyman did not play in the Broncos’ second preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers. But, in the other three games, he was effective enough to record six tackles. Two of those tackles were for a loss. Twice, in the Broncos’ third preseason game against the Rams, he worked his way into the backfield to sack Sean Mannion, forcing a fumble that the Rams recovered on one of those sacks late in the fourth quarter.
However, it’s worth noting that the Broncos have a ton of depth at the edge rusher positions. Sulleyman had to compete with Broncos second round pick Adam Gotsis, first round pick Shane Ray, and a pair of veterans in Shaquil Barrett and Dekoda Watson for a spot with the team. His impressive work in the preseason just weren’t enough to compete against those levels of potential and experience.
A potential stint with the Bengals might be more fruitful for Sulleyman. At outside linebacker, there doesn’t seem to be much hope of him beating out Nick Vigil or even Flowers. But, both backup defensive ends in Margus Hunt and Will Clarke were not as productive as Sulleyman this preseason. It is unlikely that the Bengals will cut either player for the sake of taking a chance on a guy who has never been on a 53 man roster in the NFL. But, at the very least, he could provide the Bengals an insurance plan if they decide to part with Hunt after his contract is up.
It is also worth considering that the Bengals were looking at bringing Sulleyman in to replace the ousted outside linebacker, Dawson. Dawson’s reportedly low work ethic and the inability to carry himself like a professional caused him to be released before rejoining the team via the practice squad today. Sulleyman’s noted work ethic and demonstrated professionalism in college and an offseason in the NFL make him seem like the polar opposite of Dawson. It’s possible that when it seemed like Dawson was trying out for other teams that the Bengals were considering Sulleyman for the practice squad, but now Dawson has taken that spot.
In addition to Sulleyman, Wilson reported that the Bengals worked out second year Packers cornerback Robertson Daniel.
This one is a bit stranger. Yes, Daniel is a bit more established and has previously spent time on an active roster in the NFL, albeit for only one week. But, the Bengals shouldn’t need much help at the cornerback position right now unless they’re looking for an upgrade to Chykie Brown. Darqueze Dennard recently returned to practice and the team seems to really like Chris Lewis-Harris and Josh Shaw.
Daniel is a first year player out of BYU who was signed by the Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 2015. He spent the 2015 season with the Packers’ practice squad and was added to the 53-man roster for the Divisional Round of the playoffs, though, he didn't play.
It would also be a bit of a strange move for the Bengals to be considering bringing Daniel on to the practice squad. He still has eligibility, but the Bengals get a total of 10 spots on their practice squad at any given time. At the moment, two spots are already taken up by cornerbacks. It can be hard to predict exactly what the Bengals’ motives are for anything they do at this time of the year, but it’s possible they were checking out these two young players for their special teams ability with the loss of Rex Burkhead.
The Bengals have a full practice squad and 53-man roster at this time so any addition to the team will require a current player to be cut.
Update: The Bengals also worked out linebacker Deiontrez Mount. He is also practice squad eligible.
LB Deiontrez Mount visited the Bengals, per source. He was the Titans sixth rounder in 2015. Waived in August. Tore his ACL last Oct— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) September 7, 2016