The Cincinnati Bengals finally trimmed their roster down to 53 players on Tuesday.
Even though these are the “final cuts,” they are in no way final. The majority of the players cut can be added to the practice squad, and they can get their chance to make the roster later this year.
The prime example for this on the Bengals roster is Trey Hopkins. He was one of those players cut before the season started in 2015, and played on the practice squad for most of the next two years. He finally made the opening day roster in 2017 and has been a starter on the offensive line ever since.
The Bengals probably thought long and hard about cutting Hopkins, much like they had to think about some of the other players they cut this year. There were quite a few players who had great games this preseason that didn’t make the cut for the 53-man roster.
Some players will probably be back if they are added to the practice squad. But for now, here are the hardest cuts the Bengals had to make this year.
Zac Taylor spoke highly of Jacques Patrick going all the way back to last year. His last football game was in the XFL, so he was easy to root for. Patrick led the team in carries and yards, and he’s done a lot of good things with the opportunities he was given. Unfortunately, he could not do anything to convince the coaching staff to carry a fourth running back. He might be back if the Bengals sign him to the practice squad.
Another running back on the chopping block, it seemed like Trayveon Williams’ chances were dead for most of the preseason. He actually got nine carries in the third game against the Dolphins and had 44 yards on the day. However, Chris Evans was probably going to take his job anyway, but it’s still hard to see someone with so much promise get cut.
Between Mike Thomas, Trent Taylor, and Trenton Irwin, the Bengals had to let one of them go. Each of them made a case on Sunday, including Taylor, with a team-leading 59 receiving yards. But Thomas and Irwin impressed more, so Taylor is the one who gets the cut.
Thaddeus Moss seemed like he had his spot secured after the game against the Dolphins, but the Bengals are giving that spot to Mitchell Wilcox instead. Joe Burrow lobbied for Moss, a former UDFA, but Moss’ extended playing time against the Dolphins apparently didn’t help his case enough.
This might be a controversial take, but it looked like Michael Jordan really had turned the corner. After all, he was first on the depth chart at left guard at the beginning of the preseason. However, he kept falling down the depth chart as D’Ante Smith and Jackson Carman adjusted, and he ended up playing on the third offensive line. This decision came down to Jordan and Trey Hill, and in a move common across the board, the Bengals went with youth.
The Bengals brought Mike Daniels back for another year, but will not be requiring his services anymore. The veteran defensive tackle dropped on the depth chart after the return of Josh Tupou, the signing of Larry Ogunjobi, and the trade for B.J. Hill.
Trayvon Henderson played a hell of a game against the Dolphins, but he was clearly the fifth safety on the depth chart. He’s behind Vonn Bell and Brandon Wilson on the depth chart, but the Bengals will hope to add him to the practice squad in case they need an extra safety later this year.