By now, the final 53 man rosters are set, and the NFL is ready for action this Thursday night when the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks host the Green Bay Packers. Essentially, football is back.
Football might be back for us, the fans, but it’s not going to be back for the 704 players who were cut this week by their respective teams. Yes, some will come back in the form of the practice squad, but most will not, and their dreams of being on an NFL roster just might be over. This is no different for the Cincinnati Bengals who had to make some very tough choices after their non starters put on a show during a 35-7 shellacking of the Indianapolis Colts at Paul Brown Stadium.
How should fans read into these final cuts? Does this mean the Bengals are confidently deep at these positions? The Bengals know they cannot keep everyone and cuts come down to what impact, both professionally and financially does a player have for the team, and if not them, who? The Bengals are tasked with picking the best players from top to bottom and filling in a roster based off of those moves. With that said, it is difficult to say if cutting Orson Charles, but keeping Shawn Williams was the right move. Everyone has their opinion, but cutting talent is what good teams do.
This all started Friday afternoon when the team announced the termination of the contract of Benjarvus Green-Ellis or more commonly known as The Law Firm, and instead chose to go much younger at the running back position. With youth, comes inexperience, but the Bengals simply could no longer afford the yards per carry (YPC) for Green-Ellis, nor his remaining salary. As the cuts came in by 4pm Saturday afternoon, it became more and more clear that the Cincinnati Bengals are a good team who has to cut good talent.
At the end of the day, that is what good teams do. They have to evaluate their talent and make decisions that will get them to that next level and possibly a super bowl ring. If fans cannot come to terms with the fact that their team is now cutting their favorite player from a year ago, then they are not ready to take that next step. This team has to be focused on winning a championship in the limited time that they will have Andy Dalton, AJ Green, and Vontaze Burfict on the same team. With this focus comes tough decisions, and no doubt this Saturday the Bengals did what was necessary to win.