The Bengals have created an initial 53-man roster with quite a few surprises.
Among those surprises are seven wide receivers making the cut, Ryan Hewitt and Michael Johnson getting released, KeiVarae Russell and rookie defensive linemen Andrew Brown getting waived and second-year defensive tackle Josh Tupou making the roster among only eight defensive linemen.
There will be changes coming. Guys like Cody Core and Davonte Harris could end up in Injured/Reserve by Monday. Harris almost certainly will. That could lead to Russell returning, if he clears waivers. The Bengals could look to sign some guys off the waiver wire, too. Maybe a quarterback, cornerback or defensive lineman, for example. The cornerback group is pretty questionable and it doesn’t seem like the Bengals are fully confident in Jeff Driskel backing up Andy Dalton. That, after Matt Barkley was placed on Injured/Reserve with a season-ending MCL sprain.
Maybe Johnson will actually be back on the roster soon, too. Though, the Raiders reportedly are interested in him after trading away Khalil Mack to start off the day on Saturday. Oakland also traded for AJ McCarron later in the day, taking him away from the Bills.
Here are some reactions from us, you, the media and Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis following the release of the 53-man roster.
Bengals release 2018 53-man roster!Posted by Cincy Jungle on Saturday, September 1, 2018
Marvin Lewis said he'll pass on answering whether Jeff Driskel had won the backup job before Matt Barkley got hurt.— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) September 1, 2018
Regarding release of DE Michael Johnson: "He’s one of those pillars that’s been here, given everything he can to this building. Those are tough conversations to have, just like it was with Ryan Hewitt and T.J. Johnson, guys who gave everything they had." #Bengals— Laurel Pfahler (@LaurelPfahler) September 1, 2018
Marvin Lewis confirms what I was saying earlier, Bengals will be working the wire for CBs.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) September 1, 2018
Marvin Lewis on Tra Carson vs Brian Hill: "That was a close call."— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) September 1, 2018
Marv on Tate: With Cody up in the air, the way to go for now— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) September 1, 2018
Marv on Schreck over Hewitt: Mason has developed in offense— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) September 1, 2018
I asked Marvin Lewis if Michael Johnson could be back next week and he simply said any of the veterans released could be candidates to come back.— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) September 1, 2018
They didn't "go thin." They are thin. Didn't get development they need beyond starters. Should have eyes on others. https://t.co/N46iVy3n6b— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) September 1, 2018
Slightly surprised by KeiVarae Russell cut. #Bengals will be scanning the wire closely looking for corners. And there are some intriguing names out there. Chance Russell could be best among them and returns. Or they bring in new blood. They are thin there, no doubt.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) September 1, 2018
If you were going to do this, you would want it to be with someone you trust and understands how things work. MJ is the definition of that. https://t.co/eBt5QVzADU— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) September 1, 2018
Of all the Bengals released today, CB KeiVarae Russell had the highest PFF grade (in case you care about such things). McRae (who made it) and Dennard were the only CBs with a higher overall score this preseason.— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) September 1, 2018
If the bengals can keep Michael Johnson on a cheaper deal it would be an awesome signing. Great guy and a leader in that locker room.— James Rapien (@JamesRapien) September 1, 2018
Tupou > Brown is a surprise— Chaz (@Chazperin) September 1, 2018
Wish we would’ve kept Brown at K— Nick Green (@NGreen796) September 1, 2018
Man.. But Hill looked good . So did Carson but I'm not sure here.— Jonathan Gaffney (@Gaaaffney) September 1, 2018
I expected Michael Johnson not to make it. Glad we kept Tate. Thought that would we a 50/50. I like the roster.— LeeMar L Bratley II (@LeeMarBratley) September 1, 2018
Only reason it was a surprise is bc of the loyalty we’ve shown in the past but it’s the right move and overdue if you think about it. Josh Shaw and Ryan Hewitt shocked me a lot more— Taylor Underwood (@TSwigz) September 1, 2018
Happy with the roster. I like Driskel > Barkley. Glad Tate made it. Would have liked to see Andrew Brown make it just because I’m curious. Surprised Russell didn’t make it but kept 2 rookies instead. Not sure what Schreck helps us but coaches seem to like him. Excited for season. https://t.co/kUj4EsVyzh— chase bruns (@Brunzy4) September 1, 2018
When asked if there were any trade talks, Marvin Lewis said it would be a waste of time to speculate/talk about things they didn't do or didn't happen.— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) September 1, 2018
Don’t ask me how.. ask me why !— Cody Core (@Cody16Core) September 1, 2018
Incredibly grateful for my time in Cincinnati!! Bummed it ends like this and I wish I could have had more of an impact on the field the last couple years. Good luck to the boys this year and excited to see what’s next!— Ryan Hewitt (@Huey_85) September 1, 2018
Was not expecting this move. A lot of cap saved with these moves (LaFell, Hewitt, now Johnson). Begs the question: what are the Bengals budgeting for? https://t.co/yVkw9QzRbT— John Baines (@johnthebaines) September 1, 2018