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Bengals placed waiver claim on Wendell Smallwood

Cincinnati was in the market for a waived running back, but one they wanted ended up in Washington.

Philadelphia Eagles v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

When the waiver wire frenzy hit on Saturday and Sunday, most expected the Cincinnati Bengals to look at bolstering their offensive line and/or linebacker groups.

Instead, the team grabbed running back Samaje Perine and wide receiver/returner Pharoh Cooper off of the waiver wire.

However, it appears that Perine wasn’t the only back the Bengals coveted from waivers. Field Yates of ESPN reported that the team also tried to bring in former Eagles running back, Wendell Smallwood.

As Yates noted, Smallwood was a hot commodity on the market. As it turns out, the Redskins ended up with his services, as the back was swiped up within the NFC East division.

Smallwood (5’10”, 208 pounds) was originally a fifth-round selection by Philadelphia in the 2016 draft out of West Virginia. He had been a rotational running back behind the likes of Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement, Darren Sproles and others.

He is known as a versatile player, who has appeared in 37 games over the past three seasons. Smallwood has 850 rushing yards, 388 receiving yards and seven total touchdowns (five rushing, two receiving) since 2016. He also did a small load of work on special teams as a returner and had a touchdown on a kickoff as a rookie.

Perine, on the other hand, has carried the ball 183 times for 635 yards (3.5 average) and one touchdown. He also has 25 career receptions for 187 yards and another touchdown.

While most felt that adding another running back is a bit of a luxury for the Bengals, it appears that Zac Taylor has big plans for the group. After the new head coach touted the importance of the run game this offseason, Joe Mixon also noted the similarities of what Taylor is envisioning from the group, and what Oklahoma Sooners coach Lincoln Riley drew up for the Sooners backs.