Digesting Saturday’s moves

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on August 27, 2011 – 10:12 pm

A look at how Saturday’s six cuts could affect the roster:

QUARTERBACK: With Jordan Palmer gone, the Bengals are left with three (Andy Dalton, Bruce Gradkowski, Dan LeFevour) and all signs point to them keeping just two and putting one on the practice squad. It could be LeFevour, but he could also come off the waiver wire. If the Panthers whack Cincinnati native Tony Pike, keep an eye on him.

OFFENSIVE LINE: They didn’t cut a lineman Saturday, but keeping two QBs would open a spot here. If you line up with four tackles (Andrew Whitworth, Andre Smith, Anthony Collins, Dennis Roland), a center (Kyle Cook) and five guards (Bobbie Williams, Nate Livings, Clint Boling, Max Jean-Gilles, Otis Hudson), that already gives you 10 when you would normally keep nine and you still don’t have a backup center. That guy would be Reggie Stephens. They can’t PUP Hudson because he hurt his knee during training camp, a tough break because they said next to Smith he was their most improved lineman. If he can get back after the bye (the seventh game), maybe they’ll keep him on the 53. But they’ll need that extra spot.

WIDE RECEIVERS: They cut rookie Jamere Holland, so maybe that means they’re looking at Calvin Russell or Andrew Hawkins for the practice squad. Aren’t the six receivers A.J. Green, Jerome Simpson, Andre Caldwell, Jordan Shipley, Quan Cosby, Ryan Whalen?

SECONDARY: They cut three DBs Saturday when they terminated the contract of cornerback Fred Bennett and waived safety Tom Nelson and cornerback LeRoy Vann. That leaves nine cornerbacks (Leon Hall, Nate Clements, Adam Jones, Morgan Trent, Jonathan Wade, Rico Murray, Brandon Ghee, David Pender, Korey Lindsey), three more than usual and maybe four if they keep five safeties. Plus, they’re expected to go on the street looking for corners on Cutdown Day.

The top four? Hall, Clements, Trent, and probably Wade, but the rest have not asserted themselves. And what if they don’t PUP Jones (neck) and need a spot for him? Murray is grinding because he can play multiple spots and besides safety Chris Crocker, Murray is the only DB that can play both corner and safety now that Nelson is gone. Ghee, last year’s third-rounder, has barely played with a hamstring problem, and didn’t get many snaps against the Panthers.

Before a knee injury plagued his rookie season, Nelson had a promising start when he made the roster as an undrafted free agent out of Illinois State at safety in 2009. His ability on special teams and to play both cornerback and safety helped him in past roster fights, but the Bengals are jammed at safety. There are still six left and they’ve kept either five or four in the past: Crocker, Reggie Nelson, Gibril Wilson, Jeromy Miles, Robert Sands, Taylor Mays.

Wilson said Saturday his reconstructed ACL felt good after his first action in a year on Thursday and they’d like to have his experience. They’d also like to have the speed and athleticism of Miles and Sands. Getting Sands through waivers to the practice squad would seem to be a tough nut since he’s a fifth-round pick. Tough to see them giving up on Mays so quickly after they traded for him. Even if it was a seventh-rounder in 2013.

Lewis likes him, not to mention the fact he was in the right spot on his “7-8 snaps” Thursday even though “he did (it) with 1½ practices.” You know coaches love that.

LINEBACKER: The Bengals cut rookie Stephen Franklin, so you’d have to think if they’re going to put a backer on the practice squad it would be Kentucky rookie DeQuin Evans. It looks like they have to keep a spot for injured backup SAM Dontay Moch, so the big question is going to be if they PUP WILL backer Keith Rivers (wrist). That seems to be where he’s headed since there has been no indication he’s close.

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