Bengals Rumors

CB Johnathan Joseph Announces Retirement

Johnathan Joseph enjoyed one of the longest careers among modern cornerbacks, lasting 15 seasons. The accomplished cover man announced (via Twitter) Thursday he will not attempt to play a 16th NFL campaign, choosing retirement instead.

A former Bengals first-round pick, Joseph spent most of his career in Cincinnati and Houston. However, he spent time in Tennessee and Arizona in his final season. Overall, Joseph played in 211 games and logged 192 starts during a career that included two Pro Bowls.

The South Carolina alum displayed a knack for finding the end zone during his career, intercepting 32 passes and taking seven back for touchdowns. Joseph, 37, will leave the game tied for seventh all time in pick-sixes — alongside Hall of Famers Ed Reed, Ty Law, Lem Barney and Herb Adderley. Joseph added a fumble return for a score in 2008. While Joseph will not end up in the Hall of Fame like his pick-six contemporaries, he was regarded as one of the NFL’s best corners for several seasons during his prime.

Joseph added two postseason interceptions, both coming in Texans wild-card wins over the Bengals. He played a key role in elevating Houston to those early-2010s January games, which doubled as the franchise’s initial playoff appearances. The 5-foot-11 defender made the Pro Bowl in those seasons. The Texans gave Joseph a five-year, $48.75MM contract in 2011. He performed well enough that the team extended him — on a three-year, $22MM deal — in the summer of 2015. Joseph ended up outlasting both A.J. Bouye and first-round pick Kevin Johnson in Houston; Johnson opted to retire this month as well.

With the Bengals in 2009, Joseph notched a career-high six INTs to help the franchise to the AFC North championship. Joseph signed with the Titans last year but could not help an overmatched defense much, though he did add one more INT to his career total. The Titans released him in November, but he caught on soon after with a familiar face. Johnathan Joseph concluded his career with the Cardinals, playing for former Texans secondary coach Vance Joseph.

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Bengals Sign Ja’Marr Chase

It’s officially official. On Wednesday, the Bengals formally signed first-round wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. They also inked third-round defensive end Joseph Ossai, completing their ten-man draft class. 

Chase opted out of the 2020 season at LSU, but that didn’t bother NFL evaluators much. In the previous year, Chase set SEC single-season records in receiving yards (1,780) and receiving touchdowns (20). That same Burrow-led offense produced three skill position players that went in the first round of the 2020 draft, including Justin Jefferson. Chase, according to many scouts, is an even better prospect.

I thought Chase was on a different level [than Jefferson],” one scout told The Athletic earlier this year. “Watching what Jefferson did this year (with the Vikings), that just makes me say, ‘Good Lord.’ Honestly, I thought (Chase) was the best receiver in the class last year.”

All in all, Chase’s 27 career games (21 starts) saw 98 catches for 2093 yards and 23 TDs. He also notched eight career 100-yard receiving games, including three 200-yard showings.

Here’s the full rundown of the Bengals’ 2021 draft class — now signed from top to bottom:

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Broncos, Saints Tried To Claim LB Joe Bachie

Before getting claimed by the Bengals, linebacker Joe Bachie generated interest from some additional teams. ESPN’s Field Yates reports (via Twitter) that the Broncos and Saints also tried to claim the 23-year-old. Bachie was waived by the Eagles earlier this week.

It makes sense that the Saints had interest in the linebacker. After the Michigan State product went undrafted in 2020, New Orleans made it a priority to quickly sign him. He spent much of the season on the Saints practice squad before he was snagged by Philly in December. He ultimately saw time in four games for the Eagles, appearing in 74 snaps (including 56 special teams snaps).

Bachie has a standout stint at Michigan State, finishing his career with 285 tackles, eight sacks, and five forced fumbles. He earned third-team All Big Ten honors during his senior campaign after compiling 71 tackles and 8.5 tackles for loss. However, the prospect was suspended after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, and that revelation also killed his draft stock.

Considering his production in college, it’s not a surprise that so many teams had their eye on Bachie, especially since the linebacker now has a year of experience on his resume. Bachie should have a chance at competing for a job in Cincinnati. Outside of Germaine Pratt, none of the Bengals linebackers have much starting experience, so it’s not like Bachie has a huge uphill battle. He’ll compete with the likes of Akeem Davis-Gaither, Logan Wilson, Markus Bailey, Jordan Evans, and Keandre Jones for snaps.

Bengals Audition Peyton Ramsey

The Bengals worked out undrafted rookie quarterback Peyton Ramsey on Thursday, according to Eric Edholm of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Many thought Ramsey would hear his name called last month, but there were surprisingly few QBs taken in the later rounds of the draft.

Ramsey played the bulk of his football at Indiana and captured the starting job in 2018. In 2019, he completed 68% of his throws for 2,454 yards, 13 touchdowns and five interceptions. Then, he moved on to Northwestern and helped the program throttle Auburn in the Citrus Bowl. He wasn’t as accurate with the Wildcats (61% completion rate) but still managed to keep himself on the pro radar.

As it stands, the Bengals have a full house under center. Their QB room currently features starter Joe Burrow plus Brandon Allen, Kyle Shurmur, Collin Hill, and Eric Dungey.

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Bengals Sign Kavon Frazier

The Bengals have signed Kavon Frazier, per a club announcement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it’s likely a one-year deal for the former Cowboys and Dolphins safety.

Frazier came into the league as a sixth-round pick of the Cowboys. He played in 44 games with Dallas, starting two. The Central Michigan product primarily functioned as a special teams player during his time in Texas — ditto for his 2020 with the Dolphins. Still, Frazier accomplished his No. 1 goal of showing that he can stay healthy for a full season. Most of his 2019 was lost to injury, but Frazier suited up for 15 of the Dolphins’ regular season games.

Now, he’ll look to stick in Cincy and join fellow newcomers in the Bengals’ secondary, including Mike Hilton, Chidobe Awuzie, and Ricardo Allen.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/26/21

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Green Bay Packers

Los Angeles Rams

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

  • Signed: OL Christian DiLauro

Joe Burrow At Bengals OTAs

With each piece of good news, Bengals fans can continue to breathe a little easier. Last week we heard Joe Burrow was on track for Week 1, and now the second-year quarterback has taken another step in the right direction.

Burrow participated in the teams OTAs on Tuesday, as Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic tweets. You can check out a video of Burrow throwing a few passes and looking fairly strong on his surgically repaired knee courtesy of this tweet from James Rapien of SI Now. Burrow, of course, is coming off a significant injury that included ACL and MCL tears as well as some other damage.

Cincy is going to be cautious with their expected savior of the franchise, so the fact that he’s doing any work at all in May is a good sign that his recovery has gone as well as could be hoped for. After practice head coach Zac Taylor said “we are not pushing the envelope,” which means nobody is allowed within ten feet of Burrow, Dehner tweets.

Seriously. Any running backs running routes are motioned out wide to end up as far from Burrow as possible. No word yet on if the team will be layering him in bubble wrap for minicamp. For his part, Burrow said his knee is at “80-85 percent.”

As for his first Bengals passes to former LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase, who Burrow reportedly had a role in drafting, he said “it was a little rusty at first but we got it back pretty quick.” The former Heisman winner also said he’d be wearing a knee brace, something he’s not a fan of, calling the process of picking one finding the “lesser of the evils.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Sought Detailed Ja'Marr Chase Report From Joe Burrow

The Bengals encountered some scrutiny for passing on Penei Sewell to take Ja’Marr Chase at No. 5, given their issues on the offensive line. But the Chase-over-Sewell stance formed weeks ahead of the draft. Bengals brass went to Joe Burrow for a detailed opinion on this matter. Chase having played a key part in Burrow winning the 2019 Heisman Trophy, and Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com notes the second-year quarterback gave his ex-LSU teammate a strong endorsement. Chase-to-Cincinnati gained considerable steam ahead of the draft, and the Bengals followed through with the move to add the impact receiver prospect to a wideout group that includes Tyler Boyd and 2020 second-rounder Tee Higgins. The Bengals viewed Chase as the kind of talent too good to pass up, Fowler adds. The Bengals drafted offensive linemen in the second, fourth and sixth rounds, with Jackson Carman — whom the team selected after trading down eight spots — being the most notable of these additions.