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Bengals 53 set (for now)

The Bengals announced their mandatory cuts to get the roster down to 53 this afternoon. Here’s the complete list:

Waived:  OT Otis Hudson, OL Isaac Sowells, OT Gabriel Manns, OT Chris Rodgers, DT Orien Harris, K Dave Rayner, RB James Johnson, TE Chase Coffman, TE Darius Hill, WR Dez Briscoe, S Kyries Hebert, S Rico Murray, S Jeromy Miles, S Marvin White, CB Johnny Sears, and FB Joe Tronzo.  WR Maurice Purify was waived with an injury settlement.

Waived/Injured:  FB Fui Vakapuna.  If Vakapuna clears waivers, he will revert to the Bengals’ injured reserve list.

Cut (Become free agents as vested veterans):  WR Matt Jones, LB Abdul Hodge

Analysis: 

  • The team carries no fullback on the roster.  The result is that Dan Coats, AKA Bad Penny, inexplicably makes the team. Again.
  • The decision to keep Coats did not give the team four Tight Ends.  They cut Chase Coffman and are only carrying three.  I anticipated the team might consider cutting Coffman during my roster ramblings yesterday, but I still find it surprising.  Yes, the team can now go without a fullback with adequate blocking from Reggie Kelly and Coats, but they better hope starter Jermaine Gresham doesn’t get hurt.  He’s the only dynamic pass catching TE on the roster. If he clear waivers, the team could put Coffman on the practice squad.
  • The waiving of S Kyries Hebert is a mild surprise.  While he doesn’t provide a lot as a defensive back, he excels at special teams (he was the team’s special teams captain last year).
  • The dismissal of Hebert means the team has only 3 safeties.  They kept six cornerbacks. Chris Crocker is the only free safety.
  • Jerome Simpson won out with an 11th-hour push to make the team, beating rookie Dez Briscoe and former first-round pick Matt Jones for the last wide-out spot. I’d like to see Briscoe get to the practice squad, but I have to admit the right player won out in this battle.
  • I was off-base in thinking Andre Caldwell might be gone.  At least so far.

The Bengals might not be done tweaking the roster.  Two veteran cuts to watch are Arizona QB Matt Leinart (friend of Carson Palmer’s at USC), and former Bengals slot man WR TJ Houshmandzadeh.  Both could draw interest from the team.

Additionally, the Bengals could be looking for a good safety from another team’s cuts.

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