The Cincinnati Bengals are cutting Brandon LaFell, as first reported by NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo.
The #Bengals are cutting WR Brandon LaFell, his agent Jonathan Feinsod tells me. “We have been lobbying for his release for some time now and appreciate the Bengals granting our request,” Feinsod said.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 2, 2018
The team later made it official.
“We want to thank Brandon for his contributions to Bengals,” said head coach Marvin Lewis. “He has been a consummate pro and teammate, a strong voice on the team and a great mentor for the young players. We wish him and his family the best in the future.”
The Bengals may have just simply decided to cut LaFell on their own, regardless of what he wanted.
A Bengals team source told me the decision to cut Brandon LaFell had nothing to do with any requests made by him or his agent to leave, and said it's doubtful such a request would ever be granted anyway. The source said it was more about giving the... https://t.co/f0Si3CV2eR— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) August 2, 2018
This is a major surprise, as LaFell was expected to retain his spot as a starting wide receiver again this season, but with so much talented youth in Cincinnati, he saw the writing on the wall that it was time for a new team.
Cincinnati picked up veteran receiver LaFell in the spring of 2016 on a one-year deal. He ended up being second on the team in receptions (64) and yards (862), while leading the team in touchdown grabs with six. That came following the losses of Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones in free agency.
That solid year earned LaFell a new to-year deal with the Bengals in the 2017 offseason worth $9 million. Unfortunately, LaFell was never been able to even live up to that last year. He struggled mightily to get seperation in the passing game and never was a real threat in anything other than the short passing game. He finished with 52 passes on 89 targets (58%) for 548 yards and three touchdowns in 16 games.
Making matters worse for LaFell is he’s seemingly been outplayed by John Ross, Tyler Boyd and even Auden Tate in training camp thus far. Ross and Boyd should absolutely be playing over LaFell. While Tate and LaFell may not be far apart, Tate does offer something unique as a big jump-ball receiver who could wreak havoc in the red zone.
The Bengals will save almost $3 million by cutting LaFell.
It’s a $2.8 Cap Savings (before Top 51 replacement) since LaFell already earned his $200K offseason WB. $2.8M Cap and Cash Savings derived from $2.55M P5 + $250K in total PGRBs. https://t.co/JSF8tI5HNH— Andre Perrotta (@andreperrotta13) August 2, 2018
That’s a big thing since the team is working to re-sign Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap to long-term deals that will make them among the highest-paid players at their position.
What are your thoughts on the Bengals parting ways with LaFell?