3 players the Bengals must make room for on the final 53-man roster

  • Trent Taylor is an important piece on special teams
  • Kwamie Lassiter deserves an opportunity
  • Raymond Johnson III has been impressive
Aug 11, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Trent Taylor (11) runs with
Aug 11, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Trent Taylor (11) runs with / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Kwamie Lassiter II

If all the roster predictions are correct and Taylor does not make the final roster, Kwamie Lassiter II should. The young wideout was on the verge of making the team last year. 

After spending the season on the practice squad, Lassiter has done nothing but improve his game. He looks more comfortable and ready to contribute after a year under his belt. He led the team with six receptions on seven targets against the Packers.

If Taylor is not available to return punts, Lassiter, a guy who deserves to be on a 53-man roster somewhere, could do it. Lassiter was a capable punt returner while at Kansas. In his final season with the Jayhawks, he returned eight punts for an average of 13.5 yards per return.

This preseason, just like last year’s, Lassiter has shown that he can be counted on in the passing game, showing strong hands and knowing where he is supposed to be. He also adds value by being able to play in the slot and on the outside.

Lassiter also does the things you need him to do even when he does not have the ball in his hands. 

Lassiter's receiving skills and return abilities should make him a strong contender for the roster if Taylor does not make the team. If neither does, that could be detrimental to the special teams in the return game.

If he is released, the expectation is that Lassiter will land on the practice squad if he is not claimed off waivers. If Taylor does not land on the final 53-man roster, Lassiter should.

If neither does, Lassiter and his representatives should take a long look at the landscape before summarily agreeing to the practice squad. The team is loaded at the position with veteran and young talent. He might have a better shot at receiving playing time on another roster.