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Did the Cincinnati Bengals Get the Final Roster Correct?

The Cincinnati Bengals cut the roster to 53 on Tuesday and there was not a shortage of surprising moves. There were fan favorites that shockingly made the final cut, while some fell just short.

Cincinnati signed 15 players to the practice squad and signed CB Nick McCloud and DE Wyatt Ray. In order to bring the two outside players in, they cut WRs Mike Thomas and Trenton Irwin.

Cincinnati Bengals Roster Moves

The 15 that landed on the practice squad were:

  • LB Joe Bachie
  • CB Tony Brown
  • P Drue Chrisman
  • S Trayvon Henderson
  • LB Keandre Jones
  • TE Thaddeus Moss
  • HB Jacques Patrick
  • CB Winston Rose
  • DE Noah Spence
  • WR Trent Taylor
  • HB Trayveon Williams
  • DT Renell Wren
  • HB Pooka Williams
  • G Keaton Sutherland
  • TE Mason Schrek

The nine players that were cut, and not signed to the practice squad were:

  • WR Scotty Washington
  • OT Gunnar Vogel
  • QB Kyle Shurmur
  • CB Antonio Phillips
  • DT Mike Daniels
  • K Austin Seibert
  • DE Amani Bledsoe
  • DT Khalil McKenzie
  • G Michael Jordan

The Bengals had some really tough decisions at RB, OL and DL. Choosing the third RB could have gone in any direction, but sticking with the preseason standout, and sixth-round pick, Chris Evans was the right decision. His pass-catching ability was superior to the other backs, and he showed flashes of being an excellent change-of-pace back.

The Bengals’ youth movement at OL is eye-popping, but not surprising. Jackson Carman, Trey Hill and D’Ante Smith are the three backups on the interior OL and are all rookies. They earned their stripes in training camp and preseason, and the confidence the coaching staff has put in them to back up the veterans is encouraging.

The DL has dealt with some injuries to Joseph Ossai and Khalid Kareem, with the former being sidelined for the season. This led to undrafted free agent, Darius Hodge, making the final roster. Hodge was a menace throughout the preseason and his speed and quickness on the edge could have a legitimate impact on the Bengals pass rush.

cincinnati bengals roster cuts
Credit: Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Biggest Surprises on the Cincinnati Bengals Roster

All of the exciting players that made the roster led to disappointing moves to make room for them. The three moves that stood out far above the others were Mike Daniels and Michael Jordan being cut, and Thaddeus Moss not making the final 53.

Jordan was wildly inconsistent and had one of the worst seasons in all of football in 2020. He recorded a PFF grade of 55.7 and allowed 35 total pressures. Joe Burrow was also injured on a blown assignment by Jordan. He showed improvement throughout the preseason, but overall his inconsistency led to the end of his tenure in Cincinnati.

Moss was college roommates with Burrow, and Burrow seemed to do everything in his power to make Moss the third TE on the final roster. His five-catch, 44-yard performance in the final preseason game seemed like it cemented his spot on the team, but Zac Taylor seemed to favor the bigger and better blocking TE Mitchell Wilcox. Bringing Moss back to the practice squad is a good sign, and hopefully he can continue to improve and earn his spot on the roster eventually.

Daniels stepped in last season as a bright spot after Geno Atkins and D.J. Reader went down with injury. He was not great by any means, but his veteran presence and leadership stood out on the defense. It was a shocker to see Daniels not make the final roster, but the Bengals are favoring youth across the board.

Billy Price Trade

Daniels missing the roster seemed to have a direct correlation to the huge trade news on Monday. Bengals’ former first-round pick OL Billy Price was sent to the New York Giants for DL B.J. Hill and a conditional seventh-round pick.

Price never recorded a PFF grade above 56 and never seemed to fit into the Bengals’ plans. He had potential and showed he belongs in the NFL, but moving him was a win-win. Price deserved to fight for a starting spot, and that was never going to happen with Trey Hopkins in town.

B.J. Hill has played in all 16 games in all three of his seasons thus far. Availability is something the Bengals desperately need on their DL, and Hill can have an immediate impact. As a rookie, Hill recorded 5.5 sacks and six TFLs, but was stuck playing behind Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence. He never had a chance to shine, but he will likely be able to tee off for the Bengals on passing downs.

This is a great addition for the Bengals. The OL and DL are extremely young and filled with potential, which were the two weakest position groups on the roster last season. Every team has to lose some of their preseason darlings to make room on the final roster, but the Bengals kept most of them on their practice squad. They made sound decisions across the board, and their roster is much more talented heading into this season than it was last season.

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