Kalafitoni Pole

Bengals Release Josh Johnson

The Bengals announced (via Twitter) that they have released quarterback Josh Johnson. With Johnson out of the picture, AJ McCarron is virtually guaranteed to start the season as Andy Dalton‘s primary backup.

Johnson, 29, spent time with the 49ers in 2014 after serving as Dalton‘s backup for the Bengals in 2013. All in all, he hasn’t seen much time on the field in recent years, seeing no active game duty in 2014 and a total of 3 games since 2012. McCarron, meanwhile, was a fifth round pick of the Bengals in 2014. However, he did not play last season due to shoulder tendinitis.

In addition to the release of Johnson, the Bengals announced that they have waived safety Erick Dargan and Kalafitoni Pole.

Bengals Sign Terrelle Pryor, Four Others

Following his release from the Chiefs last week, former Ohio State standout Terrelle Pryor has landed with the Bengals, who also announced the signing of four more players:

  • Mario Alford, WR
  • Erick Dargan, DB
  • John Peters, TE
  • Kalafitoni Pole, DT

The 25-year-old Pryor is obviously the biggest name in the group, and now he’ll compete to be Cincinnati’s backup quarterback behind starter Andy Dalton. Pryor, who tried out for the Bengals on Friday during the club’s rookie minicamp, hasn’t appeared in a NFL game since 2013, when he started nine games for the Raiders. Jason Campbell, the Bengals’ No. 2 QB last season, remains unsigned, so Pryor will compete with 2014 draft pick A.J. McCarron for the backup position.

While three of the players listed above are undrafted free agents, Alford was selected by the Bengals in the seventh round of last week’s draft. The West Virginia product, who will compete to act as a reserve receiver while also angling for time on special teams, should be in line for a four-year deal worth about $2.34MM, according to Over the Cap’s rookie pool estimates.

In addition to today’s signings, Cincinnati also released tight end Kevin Brock, who appeared in 14 games for the club last season.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.