We knew the Cincinnati Bengals were going to be active in scouring the waiver wire after final cuts, and more news continues to emerge to support that point.
The team added running back Samaje Perine and receiver Pharoh Cooper, and also showed interest in Wendell Smallwood. Now, we are hearing that they also had their sights set on potentially bolstering the defense with former Seahawks linebacker, Austin Calitro.
A total of three teams tried to claim former Seahawks LB Austin Calitro off of waivers: the Jaguars, Bengals and Broncos. Jacksonville had top priority based off of its 2018 record.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 4, 2019
Calitro was an undrafted player out of Villanova who landed with the Jets in the spring of 2017. He then bounced around to the Seahawks, 49ers, and Browns that season. He didn’t accrue any statistics as a rookie, as he was on the practice squads for both Seattle and Cleveland.
The Browns waived him in the summer of 2018, and he was picked back up by the Seahawks. As Field Yates noted, Calitro was picked up by Jacksonville through waivers a few days ago.
He started five games and played in all 16 last year with Seattle. In 2018, Calitro had a half-sack, 45 total tackles and had a defended pass. He is primarily an inside linebacker, but has some versatility, as he came from the Seahawks’ hybrid 3-4-type of defense.
Linebacker was and is one of the weakest positions on the Bengals’ roster. They currently have only four players on the 53-man squad at the position, as Hardy Nickerson was one of the cuts to make room for the additions of Cooper and Perine.
Calitro would have been a rotational backup on defense and special teams player for the Bengals. As it stands, Lou Anarumo’s unit only has Nick Vigil, Preston Brown, Germaine Pratt and Jordan Evans in the position group.
Even with the two waiver claims the Bengals were actually granted, common sense has us believing Zac Taylor isn’t done tinkering with the roster. There will probably be an addition after a game or two, and linebacker is one of the prime spots for a potential acquisition.