The Bengals have cut linebacker Preston Brown, as Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports (via Twitter). Brown signed a three-year pact with Cincinnati this offseason, but he will not even see the end of the first year of that deal.
Brown did start every game for his hometown Bengals this season before the team replaced him in the starting lineup with third-round rookie Germaine Pratt for Sunday’s loss to the Ravens. Brown ultimately played just 17 defensive snaps on Sunday, his lowest snap count of the season.
The Bills selected Brown in the third round of the 2014 draft, but even after a solid platform year with Buffalo in 2017, the Bills opted against re-signing him. Brown ultimately accepted a one-year, $4MM deal with the Bengals in 2018, and then he re-upped with Cincinnati in March 2019.
Brown succumbed to injury for the first time in his career in 2018, as he played in just seven games for the Bengals after appearing in all 64 possible games for the Bills over his first four years in the league. But while he has managed to stay healthy in 2019, he has not played particularly well, especially in coverage. The fact that the Bengals cut ties less than one year into his three-year contract is not a good look for Brown.
Still, he just turned 27 and is owed only $400K for the rest of the season. As such, a team in need of a veteran LB with plenty of starting experience could put in a waiver claim, especially since such a team could cut him again this offseason with fairly minimal dead money ramifications. And if he clears waivers, he may not last too long on the open market.
Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic expects the Bengals to clean out most of their LB room this offseason, and he suggests that only Pratt will be retained for 2020 (Twitter link).
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