Cincinnati Bengals: 5 Players to Move on From

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Jan 9, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tackle Andre Smith (71) against the Pittsburgh Steelers during a AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 9, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tackle Andre Smith (71) against the Pittsburgh Steelers during a AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jan 29, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; NFLPA president Eric Winston speaks during a press conference at Phoenix Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 29, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; NFLPA president Eric Winston speaks during a press conference at Phoenix Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

5. Eric Winston, Right Tackle

Eric Winston has been a very nice backup tackle in Cincinnati over the course of the team’s two most recent seasons, but it’s time to make a change. As mentioned earlier, the Bengals have two young, talented linemen ready to take the league by storm. Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher will likely battle it out during training camp in order to earn the Bengals’ starting nod at right tackle, and whoever doesn’t end up the starter should remain the team’s backup.

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If the Bengals undergo a string of injuries later in the 2016 season, Winston could still be on the market. The Bengals could then sign the veteran to a yearlong contract and get a nice bang for their buck. And considering Winston’s age (32), it’s unlikely that he’ll even be able to latch on elsewhere. Cincinnati loves to bring players in who know the playbook, and Winston would be that guy, if the Bengals are desperate enough.

But given that Winston was rarely even active, the Bengals might not even try to bring him if they end up needing to sign a free agent tackle in the 2016 season. Winston should have plenty of time to do some more meaningful work, as the president of the NFL Players Association.

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And if the Bengals end up signing him later next season, he’ll be welcomed back with open arms. Winston is a solid guy and a reliable player, but it appears as though his time in Cincinnati should be coming to a close.

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