The Cincinnati Bengals might have announced a final roster on Tuesday — but they’re far from done finalizing the roster.
That might seem confusing but Tuesday’s 53-man deadline was merely a housekeeping item. Like other teams, the Bengals needed to roster injured players they hope can return this season (such as Khalid Kareem), so they initially make it.
Meaning, the Bengals will still add players via free agency or the waiver wire. That waiver wire is based on draft order and processes Wednesday, so it’s safe to expect new additions then.
These are some of the players that were released on Tuesday that the Bengals should consider adding.
S Rudy Ford
The Bengals are pretty good at safety right now thanks to the guys on the final roster but it’s pretty hard to ignore Ford, a special-teams star who only seemed let go by the Jaguars due to his salary. He’ll be a hot commodity on the open market.
TE Jace Sternberger
Sternberger was a fun prospect in college who fell to the third round in 2019. He’s still got an interesting skill set that would look nice as the team’s third tight end for the time being.
LB Jarrad Davis
Davis was a massive bust in Detroit after being the 21st pick in 2017 and he hasn’t been able to match that draft hype despite good athleticism. He’ll come cheap, though and makes for an interesting backup, especially if guys like Markus Bailey aren’t healthy.
LB Devon Kennard
Kennard had a three-year deal worth $20 million in Arizona before 2020 but had no sacks in 2021 and is now 31. Still, while the Cardinals pay the dead cash on his salary, he could be an interesting, versatile backup.
TE O.J. Howard
There was a time when we wrote Howard should be in a Bengals jersey during a draft or via trade. Now it’s as a free agent after he was playing in the second quarter of Bills preseason games. The former 19th overall pick in 2017 might not be a big weapon anymore after an Achilles injury in 2020, but he’s still a solid blocker and would make for a plus third tight end.
LB Quincy Roche
We wrote about Roche as a guy the Bengals should trade for before cuts. Now he’s on the market. The sixth-rounder from 2021 still has big upside and he got in on 400-plus snaps last season.
DE Janarius Robinson
Robinson was a fourth-rounder in 2021 and missed his entire rookie season due to injury. The major overhaul in Minnesota has created a lot of interesting cuts like this. Robinson tested very well out of Florida and would be worth a look.
OT Ryan Van Demark
Van Demark got a $175,000 bonus with the Colts as an undrafted free agent, the highest of any UDFA this year. He had 20-plus offers, too, so it’s pretty clear if the Colts can’t find room for him, the Bengals might be wise to bring him aboard as long-term depth, at least.
G Wyatt Davis
Another weird Minnesota cut. Davis was a third-rounder (86th) in 2021 and didn’t play a snap last year. The Ohio State product would be worth a look by a local team that needs depth help badly along the line.
OL Alex Leatherwood
We wrote about trading for Leatherwood but the idea of signing him remains, too. Doing so is tricky, though — he’ll carry a $6 million cost if claimed on waivers. The idea would be to wait for him to clear waivers, then bank on his upside as a backup.
OT Chuma Edoga
Edoga lost out on swing-tackle duties with the Jets but is still 25 years old and a former third-round pick. He’d be an interesting backup option with versatility.