The Bengals released wide receiver Brandon LaFell, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). LaFell’s agent tells Garafolo that the receiver has been pushing for his release “for some time now” and is grateful to have been freed from his contract.
The transaction will allow LaFell, a vested veteran, to sign with any team. As the Patriots get set to move on from Jordan Matthews, one can’t help but wonder if a reunion could be in the cards for LaFell. Then again, Thursday’s signing of Eric Decker could take LaFell out of consideration.
LaFell has been the Bengals’ No. 2 WR for the last two years, but his production tailed off a bit last season. After compiling 64 catches for 862 yards and six touchdowns in 2016, LaFell had just 52 grabs for 548 yards and three scores last year.
Meanwhile, he started “feeling the heat” from other wideouts in camp this summer, according to coach Marvin Lewis. That includes 2017 first-round pick John Ross, which is good news for the Bengals but probably meant a reduced role for LaFell.
The Bengals appear set to head into 2018 with A.J. Green and Ross as their top receivers. After that, they have a young group pushing for playing time including Tyler Boyd, Josh Malone, Cody Core, rookie Auden Tate, and Alex Erickson.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.