In one of the most competitive preseason's of recent memory, the Bengals have faced adversity but with a bountiful feast of options both on offense and defense. Three high-profile stars have already left the team —either by injury or by dismissal—in Antonio Bryant (cut), Rashad Jeanty (cut), and Gibril Wilson (injured reserve).
Yet with the departures above, there still remains a well-stocked case of options. Unfortunately, not everyone can stay but only the best can play and the rest must go home.
With a well-stocked secondary—despite the loss of Gibril Wilson—the Bengals have better options and safety and would likely see White, Ndukwe, and Crocker. Herbert has had a very interesting career bouncing between the NFL and the Canadian Football League since 2002. Unfortunately, Hebert's time with the Bengals has run out and it is unlikely he will be in the NFL this year. Best of luck, Kyries.
Tronzo has become an insider's favorite but he is at a well-stocked position. Listed as a running back but serving in duties as full back, Tronzo has some potential but this walk-on rookie is not prime enough to give up a spot on the roster.
Another rookie walk-on, Johnny Sears has shown flashes of brilliance and has also been a favorite of insiders. Yet, while there have been positive highlights, Sears did not have enough of a convincing performance against the Colts to keep him in the crowded Bengals' secondary hunt.
Johnson was brought in when Brian Leonard went down to injury. Though he showed some flashes of ability, James is not going to make the cut this year due to the surge in talent via Cedric Peerman.
Mr. Purify did himself no favors by getting arrested for disorderly conduct in May 2010. That has led to a one-game suspension at the beginning of the season. While this is seemingly a small suspension, Maurice has to contend with the fact that he is in the hottest position on the team. With Shipley emerging quicker than expected and players like Quan Cosby and Jerome Simpson battling against him, Purify will be saying bye bye to Paul Brown Stadium.
Coats came onto the team as a college walk-on in 2007. He was thrust into a larger role in 2009 due to the loss of Reggie Kelly to injury. Dan ended up being a non-factor during the course of the 11 games started throughout the season. With competition at tight end including five players (and with two locked up by Jermaine Gresham and Reggie Kelly), Coats is not expected to be retained with the younger, more versatile talent clamoring behind him.
Dezmon showed tremendous potential this preseason and will be a big loss if the Bengals cannot retain his services via the practice squad. Nevertheless, Briscoe (who left college after his junior season at Kansas) still needs work but could very well be the next Chris Henry—next year.
Matt Jones was to be the Bengals' latest reform case. After sitting out 2009 due to two drug-related arrests, Jones came back but not quite in the form the Bengals hoped for. While early on in training camp, it appeared Jones was having issues, he came on during games to contribute. Sadly, Jones was not able to give enough of a contribution to dismiss the fresher talent behind him.
Both Rayner and Nugent were inconsistent at the start of camp and with Nugent getting injuried early on, Dave has a clear shot at the position. Yet, Rayner was so-so in that kicks were sometimes straight and many times hooked. A 34-yard miss stood out in sharp contrast while Nugent hit twice from 50-yards plus upon his return.
While the Bengals have historically kept three quarterbacks, this year will likely not be the year. Even so, if the Bengals do decide to have a third quarterback, it will not be O'Sullivan. J.T. has not shown any improvement and is a far cry from the backup quarterbacks prior to him (see Ryan Fitzpatrick). While Jordan Palmer is not consistent enough to be the second string backup, O'Sullivan certainly looked more the third stringer against the Colts than Jordan did.