And so we come to it, Who Dey Nation: the final preseason cuts. First off, the striped die-hards should take a sigh of relief since, for the most part, many of the releases were expected.
In fact, some preseason standouts who were cut, like OL Otis Hudson, are expected to return to the practice squad once injured center, Kyle Cook is placed on the injured-reserved (IR) list as a player set to return.
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QB Zac Robinson, RB Daniel Herron, FB Jourdan Brooks, FB James Develin, WR Vidal Hazelton, TE Colin Cochart, OT Matt O’Donnell, OG Otis Hudson, C Reggie Stephens, DE DeQuin Evans, DE Micah Johnson, DT Vaughn Meatoga, LB Grant Hunter, LB Emmanuel Lamur, LB Roddrick Muckelroy, CB Chris Lewis-Harris, CB T.J. Heath, and LS Bryce Davis.
- DT Nick Hayden was waived under an injury settlement, S Tony Dye was placed on IR, and DT Pat Sims was placed on the PUP (Physically Unable to Play), which will keep him sidelined for the first six games of the season.
- TE Cochart and MLB Muckelroy are not eligible to join the team’s practice squad.
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Personally, it is a shame to see Robinson cut because, as an Oklahoma Sooners fan, I followed Robinson during his tenure at Oklahoma State and he certainly showed promise. In fact, during the preseason, Robinson’s pass completion percentage was over 70 percent, higher than both Andy Dalton and Bruce Gradkowski, the only two quarterbacks the Bengals will have on their opening day roster.
However, it is not an entirely surprising move considering the stellar performance of Gradkowski (28 for 47, 259 yards and 3 TDs). Head coach, Marvin Lewis and offensive coordinator, Jay Gruden most likely decided that Gradkowski was such a strong, sustainable backup to Dalton that a third quarterback would be superfluous.
But enough of my weird eulogizing for a random former quarterback for the awful Oklahoma State Cowboys (Boomer Sooner!), let’s get to the real shock of this maligned class: MLB Muckelroy.
This one comes as a shock considering Muckelroy ranked second in tackles for the Bengals this preseason and even logged a sack. Furthermore, his chief competitor, rookie Vontaze Burfict recorded 8 less total tackles than Muckelroy and has 2 less years of playing experience. However, Burfict did record one more interception than Muckelroy and capped off his preseason performance with a sack against the Indianapolis Colts.
The Bengals organization must have thought Burfict presented a more versatile skill set than Muckelroy when they made their final – and possibly most difficult – cut on what surely will be the most dreary Friday night of the NFL season.