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The under-the-radar signing of Adolphus Washington

The Cincinnati Bengals signed former third-rounder Adolphus Washington this week, replacing the injured Ryan Glasgow. If Washington mirrors his production from OSU with the Bengals, this could be one of the biggest under-the-radar signings in some time.

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New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

This is one of those postings that may only interest me — AKA, I’m thinking about something and I answer it via a Chop Block post. There’s very little insight, story structure, or analysis here; just answering random musings from the couch during a stormy Cincinnati afternoon. There might not even be a conclusion; I’ll just stop when I’m finished.

When Cincinnati placed defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow on Injured Reserve, they simultaneously announced the signing of defensive tackle Adolphus Washington.

At around the same time, Cincinnati was figuring out A.J. Green’s injury (bruise, groin, pelvis) and Dre Kirkpatrick’s status (groin/back or groin growing out of his back). So the signing of Washington was largely underreported.

For example, our own Cincy Jungle reported the signing, but crickets echo the halls of our website. But it wasn’t just CJ. The mothership offered a signing update, which was a copy-and-paste transfer from the team’s press release. The Cincinnati Enquirer changed a few words, but it was mostly the same press release.

Bengals press release:

Bengals press release on Adolphus Washington

Washington (6-4, 303), a third-year player out of Ohio State University, originally was a third-round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills in 2016 (selected 80th overall). He played in 31 games (21 starts) for the Bills, including Game 1 this season, and totaled 56 tackles and 3.5 sacks. The Bills waived him on Sept. 11, and he signed to the Cowboys’ practice squad on Sept. 18. He is a Cincinnati native (Taft High School).


Washington, a 6-foot-4, 295-pound defensive tackle, was a third-round pick by the Buffalo Bills in 2016 after four seasons at Ohio State. He played in Buffalo with current Bengals’ starters Cordy Glenn and Preston Brown. The Bills released Washington earlier this month after he totaled 56 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 31 career games.

That’s basically it. The Enquirer rearranged a few words, added notes about the condition of the defensive tackle position. Once Cincinnati announced the signing, everyone moved on.

Washington, a Cincinnatian that attended Taft High School and played for THE Ohio State Buckeyes, was taken 80th in the 2016 NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills. He lasted two seasons and one game.

“(Washington) will finish his career in Buffalo with disappointing results, having never developed into a starting lineman despite his team’s efforts. In two-plus seasons, Washington had 56 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and three passes defended,” writes Buffalo Rumblings after Buffalo announced that they’ve waived the defensive tackle. Washington simply never developed in Buffalo, as Rumblings offered in their positional outlook earlier this spring. His PFF overall score (if you buy into such things) ranked 177th out of 202 interior defensive tackles last season.

After Washington was waived on Sept. 10, 2018, he signed on with the Dallas Cowboys practice squad on Sept. 18, 2018. Cincinnati, after placing Glasgow on IR, signed Washington on Sept. 26, 2018.

“Adolphus is a really good athlete; he’s a big man with great length,” head coach Marvin Lewis told the media on Wednesday. “We feel like he’s young in his NFL career and has a lot of upside. I was excited when he agreed to come join us.”

Seriously. He could still develop.

We know he can play.

In four seasons with the Ohio State Buckeyes, Washington generated 142 tackles, 25 tackles-for-loss, and 13.5 quarterback sacks. Pre-draft analysis included phrases like “agile”, “athletic”, with “adequate power”. compared him to Wallace Gilberry. Bleacher Report called him a “natural pass-rusher in a 4-3 scheme”. Biggest criticisms, or weaknesses, include leverage issues and inadequate lower-body strength.

One factor benefiting Washington at Ohio State was opposing offenses focused more on Joey Bosa. Imagine teams focusing on Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, and Carl Lawson. This could be a fit that enables Washington to produce on some level — we’re talking about being effective, not a Pro Bowler (so scale those expectations in my OSU-fueled love story).