On Monday, the Cincinnati Bengals announced the signing of five players to Reserve/Future contracts.
The players are:
- Defensive end Ryan Brown
- Defensive tackle David Dean
- Cornerback Tony McRae
- Offensive guard Alex Redmond
- Wide receiver Alonzo Russell
They will not count on the team’s active roster until February 6, the Monday after the Super Bowl. All five players finished the regular season on the Bengals practice squad. NFL teams typically sign their practice squad players to futures contracts once their season ends, and now all of the Bengals’ 2016 practice squad is now under contract.
That’s because linebacker P.J. Dawson, linebacker Trevor Roach, offensive guard Trey Hopkins, wide receiver Jake Kumerow, and running back Tra Carson were all signed to the 53-man roster before the season ended, putting them under contract for 2017.
All of these players more than earned a spot on the Bengals’ 90-man offseason roster. Brown, a 2016 undrafted free agent out of Mississippi State, was one of the best backup defensive lineman in the preseason, enough that some called for him to make the final roster over Margus Hunt.
Dean, a 2016 UDFA out of Virginia, was also a solid defensive tackle that has a chance to make the roster next season with Domata Peko and Brandon Thompson hitting free agency, while Andrew Billings is coming off knee surgery.
McRae, a 2016 UDFA out of North Carolina A&T, actually joined the team late in the preseason, but after being cut, he re-joined the practice squad late in the season after tight end Matt Lengel was signed by the Patriots. In addition to his cornerback position, McRae also has returner skills, which helped stay with the team heading into the offseason.
Redmond, a 2016 UDFA out of UCLA, was one of the team’s bigger UDFA signings. Some services actually gave Redmond a draftable grade, and the Bengals worked him at both center and guard in the preseason.
Russell, a 2016 UDFA out of Toledo, had a solid showing in the preseason that was capped off by a big finale. He drew a lot of praise in the offseason and will be interesting to watch in training camp next season.
Expect more signings to come soon with the Bengals still having plenty of spots to fill on their 90-man offseason roster. The Bengals also tried out a group of CFL players, some of whom could get signed.