The Cincinnati Bengals are waiving cornerback Antonio Phillips, per Adam Schefter, while Tom Pelissero reports that running back Pooka Williams is also being cut. Pelissero adds Cincinnati hopes to get Williams on the practice squad.
Phillips, a rookie out of Ball State, signed with Cincinnati on May 14th as one of their six college free agents from this year’s NFL Draft class. Phillips had a decent shot at getting drafted, but soon found a home for the Summer with the Bengals.
Throughout training camp, Phillips never saw action above the second-team defense. There were a few injuries at cornerback that provided him an opportunity to advance up the depth chart, but he never did.
Phillips played in two of Cincinnati’s preseason games and missed one with an injury. He finished the preseason with three tackles and allowed 106 yards on five receptions and seven targets, per Pro Football Focus.
It wasn’t a great showing for Phillips, but his chances at making the Week 1 roster were always minimal. There is a chance he returns to the team as a member of the practice squad if he doesn’t get claimed by another team.
As for Williams, it’s a similar story as he rarely got any chances to play in training camp or the preseason. He had 1,000+ yards in his first two seasons at Kansas but slid down NFL Draft boards due to off-field issues and opting out of the 2020 campaign four games into the season.
Williams was being used as a running back/wide receiver and did show off some nice return skills when given the chance. He also ran a 4.38 40-yard dash at his pro day.