Cethan Carter

Bengals Trim Roster To 53

For the time being at least, Michael Johnson will not be part of the Bengals’ 53-man roster. The longtime starting defensive end does not appear among Cincinnati’s regular-season contingent, signalling a changing of the guard opposite Carlos Dunlap.

While Johnson could well return, with Cincinnati.com’s Paul Dehner Jr. tweeting this is a possibility because of the team trying to protect as many young players from the waiver wire as possible, he’s again off the roster. Johnson spent a year with the Buccaneers in 2014 but returned to Cincinnati a year later.

He’s been a Bengals starter in five of the past six seasons, but third-round selections of Jordan Willis and Carl Lawson last year — along with 2018 third-rounder Sam Hubbard — made the 31-year-old talent a less important commodity. Johnson registered five sacks last season and has 44 in his career.

As for the rest of the Bengals’ cuts, here are the other players who aren’t on the 53-man roster.

Released as vested veterans:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

The placement of Barkley on IR and the waiving of Woodside leaves Jeff Driskel as the Bengals’ only Andy Dalton backup. It would be logical if the Bengals examined the waiver wire this weekend for a possible signal-caller addition.

Bengals Sign 13 Undrafted Rookies

The Bengals have signed a baker’s dozen of undrafted free agents:

Nickerson is the son of Hardy Nickerson Sr., a former Pro Bowl linebacker and NFL coach. The elder Nickerson currently serves as Illinois’ defensive coordinator and that allowed him to coach his son towards the end of his collegiate career. Nickerson Jr. has been lauded for his work ethic, but some scouts question whether he can stick at the next level.

He may get a legacy grade from some teams based on his tackle production and his bloodlines, but I’m struggling to find consistent tape of him where he looks like an NFL linebacker,” a regional scout for an NFC team told NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein.

The Bengals already have five running backs under contract, including rookie Joe Mixon, so tailbacks Jarveon Williams and Stanley Williams may be facing an uphill battle as they try to make the final cut.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.