While it’s not exactly the wheeling and dealing that fans were clamoring for the Bengals to do over the past four weeks in the midst of the teams’ 4-game losing steak, there have been two roster moves made in the past 24 hours, though both involved the practice squad.
Yesterdaym the team signed former LaSalle High School and University of Cincinnati product J.K. Schaffer to the practice squad. The team announced today that they’ve released RB Jourdan Brooks and signed center Scott Wedige, a rookie from Northern Illinois.
Prior to his senior season at NIU, Wedige was one of 43 players selected to the 2011 Preseason Rimington Trophy Watch List, given annually to the the Most Outstanding Center in NCAA Division I-A College Football. He was projected as a late-round-to-undrafted prospect, but he knew despite those odds, he could succeed in the NFL based on the success of two lineman who had good NFL careers but were’t widely heralded coming out of college, as he was able to train with current Packers Pro Bowl center Jeff Saturday and former Colts tackle Ryan Diem:
I had a chance to train not too long ago for a few days with Jeff Saturday and Ryan Diem, who also played his college ball at Northern (Illinois). I mean, Jeff Saturday went undrafted out of North Carolina and made what, five Pro Bowls? Saturday told me it’s all about finding the right fit. He got lucky and look what happened.
Diem told me that once you get into training camp, the whole draft thing doesn’t matter. He’s seen fourth- or fifth-round picks get cut that didn’t perform. He said if you perform well in camp, you have a shot to make the 53-man roster. Those words from those two guys really stuck with me.
Wedige was a two-time first team All-MAC conference selection for the Huskies, though the 6-foot-4, 310-pounder didn’t receive an invite to the NFL combine. He was however invited to the NFLPA Collegiate All-Star game in January, which was formerly known as the Texas vs. the Nation game.
After not hearing his name called on draft day, Wedige was signed as an UDFA by the Arizona Cardinals and played in the team’s five preseason games, but waived on August 1st. He was then signed to the New York Giants (coincidence?) practice squad on September 8, but was waived on September 17. Hopefully the Bengals see potential in Wedgie as an adequate NFL offensive lineman that they can devlop and have ready to contribute in the future.