5. Fred Johnson
An undrafted free agent out of Florida, Fred Johnson spent the past three years as a reserve for the Bengals’ offensive line. He appeared in six games as a rookie in 2019, 12 games in 2020, and only saw playing time in five games this past year.
It wasn’t a good sign for Johnson and the way Cincinnati viewed him when he couldn’t beat out Isaiah Prince for the right tackle spot after Riley Reiff went down. Johnson was waived in March and then scooped up by the Buccaneers not long after.
Moving on from him meant that the team lost a key reserve piece on the offensive line but it wasn’t a bad decision on the Bengals’ end.
4. Vernon Hargreaves
Let’s just get this one out of the way, shall we? Vernon Hargreaves is a household name in the city of Cincinnati but for all of the wrong reasons. After Jessie Bates picked off Matthew Stafford in the Super Bow to set the Bengals offense up for a chance to score before halftime, the defense celebrated in the end zone and they were joined by Hargreaves wearing street clothes.
The cameo by Hargreaves cost the Bengals key yardage and the offense went on to not score before the half. Hargreaves’ blunder didn’t cost the team the Super Bowl but it did handicap them in a critical moment in the game.
All of that being said, not bringing him back for another season was a smart decision.