Practice Squad Candidates
D’Ante Smith (T)
A fourth-round pick in 2021, Smith has been unable to play meaningful snaps when healthy or impress coaches. I loved the pick at the time, and still think he can be developed into a quality backup tackle.
Cody Ford (G)
For some reason, the coaching staff has been high on Cody Ford, and aside from his draft pedigree, I don’t buy it. The Bengals are his third team in four years, and he has done little to provide any hope in him starting. He may even make the final 53-man roster, but that’s too rich for my blood.
Mitchell Wilcox (TE)
Maybe I’m just a Wilcox truther, but I will be very upset if the Bengals do not sign the 26-year-old free agent. In 2022, he caught 17 of 18 targets for 138 yards and a touchdown. He knows the system and could be the tight end of the future if Smith Jr. leaves after a breakout year as Hurst and Uzomah did in 2021 and 2022.
Jeff Gunter (DE)
The former 2022 seventh-round pick may very well be called up for his versatility. Right now he’s a camp body, but the Coastal Carolina product could develop into a solid backup role if given the chance.
Tarell Basham (OLB)
This signing confused me when it went through this current offseason, and it still confuses me now. The Bengals hardly ever run 3-4, and Basham simply does not fit the scheme. Cincinnati may want to keep him around for his experience, but the 2017 third-round pick does little to turn the needle on defense.
Sidney Jones IV (CB) and Allan George (CB)
George is likely to make the team, but in the rare case he does not, Cincinnati will be sure to keep them. Both of these players understand Anarumo’s system, and although the Bengals might double down on offensive position groups, Jones and George will stick around on the roster or the practice squad.
Keandre Jones (LB) and Jake Browning (QB)
Practice squad players in 2022, these two understand the system, and will more than likely return to the practice squad upon clearing waivers.
Cuts that will not be re-signed
Trent Taylor (WR)
The Bengals will simply cut Taylor, but I suppose there is always the chance they choose to stash him on the roster for punt-return security should Charlie Jones go down. Taylor did little to impress with his punt-return abilities, and although he could be a solid addition to the practice squad, the Bengals are likely content with their current depth.
Trey Hill (C)
The former 2021 sixth-round pick out of Georgia has been below average when asked to fill in. He is not starting-caliber, and maybe not even NFL-caliber. The Bengals will not want to give up a practice squad spot for him.