3 second-year Bengals players under pressure after 2023 NFL Draft
By Glenn Adams
Like toddlers learning math, sometimes making the final roster is a numbers game. Jeff Gunter could be squeezed out before the competition even gets started.
The Bengals selected defensive end Myles Murphy in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Lock him in for a roster spot. Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard are not going anywhere this year. The best pass-rushing threat on the roster behind that group of guys is Joesph Ossai.
Earlier this offseason, the team signed veteran defensive end Tarell Basham. Basham is a seven-year pro whose play closely resembles that of Gunter.
We haven’t even got to Raymond Johnson III, arguably the biggest roster snub of the preseason last year, or Cam Sample, a defensive end selected by Cincinnati in the fourth round of the 2021 draft.
Gunter showed some promise in his limited playing time on defense and special teams. However, that time has been limited by injuries.
The Bengals would only save $870,000 in cap space with a small $19,509 dead money hit. If Gunter fails to make the final 53, the cap implications would be minimal.
It will be an uphill battle for the former seventh-rounder to make the squad. He will have to flash early and often in minicamp, training camp, and the preseason games.