Continuing the roster cutdown, the Bengals have now cut veteran TE/HB Orson Charles and fullback Nikita Whitlock.
Bengals release TE/HB Orson Charles, per league source.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 30, 2014
RT @RavensInsider: Bengals cut Nikita Whitlock // Should be lock for practice squad.
— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) August 30, 2014
Charles was considered to be a steal in the fourth round of the 2012 draft, but he never worked out to be the steal he was thought to be. Charles was initially a tight end prospect behind Jermaine Gresham on the depth, but when Tyler Eifert fell to the Bengals in the 2013 draft, the Bengals began to transition him to the H-back role. Charles struggled as a blocker and wasn’t effective in the role because of it. This season Charles was thoroughly beat out for the position by undrafted rookie Ryan Hewitt. He is another player who is newly eligible for the practice squad because of the rule changes. It’s unclear whether the team will pursue this option with Charles.
Whitlock was a college defensive tackle at Wake Forest, but is thoroughly undersized for the position in the NFL. He displayed quality blocking skills (looking like John Connor at times) and has the ability to tackle due to his defensive experience, which would be important towards his special teams contribution. Whitlock also ran into the surprisingly talented Ryan Hewitt and never really made enough noise to be considered for the final roster. Paul Dehner (of Cincinnati.com) seems confident that Whitlock is a shoe-in for the practice squad. We’ll find out what the future holds for Whitlock and the Bengals tomorrow when teams begin to sign players to their practice squads.