The Cincinnati Bengals, along with the other 31 NFL teams, have to trim the roster down to 53 players before the season starts. A lot of factors play into who gets cut, the biggest being age, money, and ability. There are always veterans, or former starters, who don’t make the final roster, replaced by younger, less costly talent. Here are five Bengals who might be released this offseason that would be notable.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Running Back: The life of an NFL running back is a tough one, and often a short one. The Law Firm has been an important player in Cincinnati for the past few seasons, but the emergence of Giovani Bernard and the selection of Jeremy Hill in the draft might signal the end of Green-Ellis’ time in stripes. His 3.4 yards per carry average, and lack of big play ability have fans itching for a more explosive replacement, and that combined with his $3 million cap number could make him expendable.
Orson Charles, Tight End: Charles seems like a natural to be released. He was given a shot at more playing time in 2013, but wasn’t able to cash in on it, struggling to learn how to be a lead blocker. Off the field issues may also play a part with him, as he was arrested earlier this year for allegedly brandishing a firearm on the highway in a road rage incident. The Bengals could keep him as the third tight end, and his low salary won’t hurt him, but it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see him released either.
Danieal Manning, Safety: The Bengals were mostly inactive in free agency, with Manning as the biggest name. However, he won’t be given a starting spot, and his $1.3 million salary may seal his fate if he doesn’t outplay the other safeties on the roster. He will compete for a starting job, and has a fine shot at winning it on a team with no clear-cut starter at that position, but it’s not a sure thing, despite the team signing him in free agency. If he doesn’t, he may be too costly to keep.
Trevor Robinson, Center: In 2012, Robinson joined the team as an undrafted free agent. A Kyle Cook injury knocked him out for most of the season, and Robinson wound up starting seven games, and playing fairly well. A segment of fans even thought he should have been the starter going into 2013. Unfortunately for Robinson, Cook won the job last season and Robinson saw limited action. Going into 2014, Cooks is no longer with the team, but Mike Pollak figures to battle rookie Russell Bodine for the starting spot, possibly leaving Robinson without a roster spot.
Terence Newman, Cornerback: This one is the least likely, and is mostly dependent on the development of Dre Kirkpatrick. If Kirkpatrick puts things together, the Bengals might decide they can let Newman, who will be 36 before the start of the season, walk. After falling out of favor in Dallas, the former top five selection revived his career in Cincinnati, and has been a key member of the last two playoff teams. However, his age is a factor, and his $2 million salary could be another. There is no penalty for releasing him, and the team could decide to give his playing time to the younger players on the roster.