With third-round pick Germaine Pratt still unsigned, the Bengals’ roster is currently at 90 players exactly.
The subtraction of second-year guard Rod Taylor dropped that number to 89 momentarily before the team announced the signing of free agent guard John Jerry, who hasn’t played since the 2017 season.
Considering who became the Bengals’ offensive line coach this offseason, it should come as no surprise to see Cincinnati be the team to bring back Jerry out of his one-year hiatus.
Before he was hired in February, Turner’s last occupation in the NFL was as Jerry’s offensive line coach with the Miami Dolphins from 2012 to 2013, during Jerry’s third and fourth year in the league. Those were solid years for Jerry on the field, but his next contract was a one-year $770,000 deal with the New York Giants. Bullygate was the main reason why.
John Jerry, 32-year old— Lance McAlister (@LanceMcAlister) June 10, 2019
Guard. 121 games/101 starts
Name appeared 106 times in
Ted Wells report for involvement in Jonathan Martin bullying scandal with Dolphins.https://t.co/UIP6QNBPeW #Bengals pic.twitter.com/Gk56HM3S44
As it’s been well-established, Richie Incognito was the primary perpetrator in the debacle, and Turner was aware of the actions Incognito had influence in committing, but Jerry was just as guilty as both of them.
The report included a multitude of troubling allegations regarding Jerry’s conduct, most of them being cases of verbal harassment, both sexually and racially. Not only was it directed towards Jonathan Martin, but also towards an Asian-American athletic trainer, which Jerry admitted to.
The other well-known malefactor was Mike Pouncey, who was also mentioned in the report over 100 times. Jerry’s upbringing and rise to NFL was similar to Pouncey’s, and looking back, it has become evident that Incognito’s sway was the main factor with what got both players associated with the situation.
If Incognito was the “disease” plaguing the Miami organization, as an unnamed player told investigators, Jerry and Pouncey had been badly infected.
In the years since Miami, Jerry put together four decent seasons as a starter for the New York Giants, primarily at right guard. In the beginning of his tenure, he earned the starting right guard spot but struggled in the run game. He returned to the Giants in 2015 and after an impressive 2016 campaign, signed a three-year $10 million deal with the team in 2017. That contract was restructured a year later and right before the 2018 season, Jerry was cut. He did not sign with another team.
Jerry has become Cincinnati’s 16th rostered offensive lineman, and 10th on the interior if we’re officially counting Cordy Glenn as a guard. Without knowing the details of the contract he reportedly signed, we’re in no position of claiming whether or not Jerry should be a lock for the final roster, but his arrival will increase depth and presumably competition at either guard spot.