Cal Adomitis

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/12/22

Here are Monday’s minor moves:

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Los Angeles Chargers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Robinson has been mostly a rotational defensive end with the Seahawks, but the Syracuse product has five sacks in his two seasons. Robinson suffered a knee injury in Seattle’s preseason finale. He can return after four games, though teams only have eight IR-return slots — way up from the pre-COVID NFL but down from the 2020 and ’21 unlimited IR-return setup — this season.

The Seahawks will be without their primary long snapper, Tyler Ott, on Monday night. Ott is out with a shoulder injury. Tinker has been an NFL snapper since 2013, and the veteran specialist has experience with Seahawks kicker Jason Myers. The duo played together in Jacksonville during the mid-2010s.

Wednesday NFL Transactions: AFC North

Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These BengalsBrowns, Ravens and Steelers moves are noted below.

Here are Wednesday’s AFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Baltimore Ravens

Signed:

Claimed:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

Signed to practice squad:

Cincinnati Bengals

Claimed:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

Signed to practice squad:

Cleveland Browns

Claimed: 

Released:

Signed to practice squad:

Pittsburgh Steelers

Bengals’ Roster Down To Final 53

Cincinnati made the necessary moves today to trim its roster down to 53 players. While some may find themselves back in the striped helmet Wednesday, many will have to clear waivers before being announced to the 16-man practice squad. Here are the moves made today to get down to the 53-man roster:

Released:

Waived:

Waived/injured:

Placed on reserve/PUP list:

The defending AFC champions are looking to run it back with much of the same roster as last year. Thirty-eight of this year’s 53-man roster were on last year’s Super Bowl roster, with the differences coming on offensive line and at the bottom of the depth chart.

Additionally, it appears all six 2022 draft picks made the roster for the Bengals, as well as one undrafted rookie signing. With so many starters returning from the Super Bowl team, all the rookies will be expected to contribute in backup roles. First- and second-round defensive backs Daxton Hill and Cam Taylor-Britt figure to factor heavily into the defensive rotation, though. Also in the secondary, cornerback Allan George is the lone UDFA from this year’s crop to make Cincinnati’s final roster.

To call it the final roster is a bit misleading as the Bengals will likely follow their own trends from last season, setting the roster up for multiple post-deadline moves. The roster currently includes 11 defensive backs, not including starting safety Jessie Bates, working currently on a roster exemption. Taylor-Britt could likely find his way to the four-week injured reserve list after undergoing core surgery recently. Defensive end Khalid Kareem will join Taylor-Britt on short-term IR, according to head coach Zac Taylor, with a hamstring injury.

Many expect Cincinnati to mirror a roster move from last year with wide receiver Thomas. Thomas is a vested veteran who will avoid the waiver wire and is expected to re-sign with the team after a corresponding roster move, exactly what he did last year.

Finally, two position battles have been effectively decided with the waiving of long snapper Adomitis and punter Chrisman. Both intended to challenge incumbents Clark Harris and Kevin Huber from their long-time starting jobs. After avoiding being unseated, Huber is now on track to set a franchise record for games played in a Bengals uniform. Harris is close behind, trailing Huber by just six games.

Special Teams Position Battles In Cincinnati

The Bengals’ special teams room has looked mostly the same for 14 years. Bengals coach Darrin Simmons has held the role of special teams coordinator since 2003, adding “assistant head coach” to his title for his 19th and 20th seasons in Cincinnati. It appears, though, that changes could be in the making as Simmons adjudicates position battles including the team’s longest-tenured players, according to Jay Morrison of The Athletic. Both punter Kevin Huber and long snapper Clark Harris will face position battles in camp for the first times in their long careers. 

Huber is entering his 14th year in the league. All 14 have come with the Bengals, who drafted him in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL Draft out of the University of Cincinnati. Huber is 20 punts short of 1,000 and one game shy of setting a franchise record for games played as a Bengal. Despite his extreme familiarity with the franchise, Huber is facing a position battle that should have occurred last year.

Drue Chrisman signed as an undrafted free agent with the Bengals after six years at Ohio State in 2021. The Cincinnati-native from La Salle High School chose to stay close to home for his first NFL signing. The strong-legged challenger was set to compete with the long-time veteran Huber before a broken hand shut Chrisman down. He was waived before the regular season and signed to the team’s practice squad. The Bengals released him in mid-October and the Steelers scooped him up two months later, just to release him after only two days. Cincinnati quickly re-signed him to the practice squad until releasing him in mid-January. Chrisman signed a reserve/future contract with Cincinnati a week before they would appear in the Super Bowl.

Now, Chrisman is back, hand intact, to challenge Huber for his job. According to Morrison, while Chrisman’s leg strength is a plus and the battle will surely judge punting factors such as hang time and directional accuracy, Chrisman’s true test to win the job will be his ability to handle the duties of holder, a role commonly assigned to punters and backup quarterbacks. If Chrisman can show a reliability holding for rookie sensation Evan McPherson on field goals and extra points, the Bengals may have no choice but to go with youth and award Chrisman to job.

One may think that Huber’s 14 years of holding snaps from Harris gives him an unfair advantage over Chrisman. That may be true, but Chrisman may not be at too much of a disadvantage as Harris, too, will face competition in training camp for his job.

Harris is headed into his 16th year in the NFL and his 14th with the Bengals. Harris served double-duty in college as a tight end and long snapper at Rutgers. As a redshirt sophomore, Harris led the Big East in catches, yards, and touchdowns for a tight end. He received first-team All-Big East honors for three straight years. Harris was drafted in the seventh round of the 2007 NFL Draft by Green Bay. He spent time on the practice squads for the Packers, Lions, and Texans in his first three seasons, finally making his NFL debut as a long snapper in Houston when starter Bryan Pittman was suspended for four games. After being released from another practice squad, Harris was signed midseason by Cincinnati to be their long snapper.

Harris has been extremely reliable for the Bengals. Since signing with the team in 2009, Harris has missed only three games and has never had an unplayable snap. Unfortunately, Harris got on the bad side of his long-time position coach during the team’s Super Bowl LVI loss. While McPherson gained further notoriety around the country for skipping locker room adjustments to watch the Super Bowl halftime show, Harris’ participation (and influence) in those antics drew the frustration of Simmons, according to The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. Simmons found himself needing to make “a few critical adjustments” that required shifting personnel in a few packages, but the constant of every package was on the field with the rookie kicker watching the show. When asked if the situation was all water under the bridge, Simmons replied, “It’s not under the bridge. I’m still floating on the float. It is what it is.”

Whether a result of the halftime stunt or just a reaction to Harris’ growing years, the Bengals brought in University of Pittsburgh first-team All-American long snapper Cal Adomitis as an undrafted free agent this offseason. Adomitis also won the Patrick Mannelly Award, given to the best long snapper in the country, in his fifth and final year with the Panthers.

Harris has reportedly responded well to the newcomer, reporting for offseason activities in the best shape he’s been in during recent years and “(working) his tail off” to prepare to fight for his job.

Both Huber and Harris have the talent, experience, and familiarity to win the starting jobs. But Chrisman and Adomitis have plenty of talent and the youth to back it up for potentially 14 years to come. As Huber and Harris head into contract years, will the Bengals stick with experience or ride the youth movement along with their second-year kicker?

Bengals Announce 16-Man UDFA Class

After adding six rookies to the team in the NFL Draft last month, the Bengals announced the addition of 16 undrafted free agents:

Continuing their focus on addressing the offensive line, Cincinnati brought in some potential depth pieces who will have an opportunity to earn playing time for the reigning conference champions.

Brown started for three seasons after redshirting his first for the Rebels, moving from right guard to center in his last collegiate season. Cochran transferred to the Yellow Jackets after four years at Vanderbilt. Even as a newcomer, the blindside tackle was selected as Georgia Tech’s weekly-Captain for five of the team’s twelve games. Noel joined the Owls after a stint at Fort Scott Community College. He started for three years on the Owls’ offensive line, taking advantage of the extra year of eligibility provided by COVID-19.

The Bengals also added some potential contributors at receiver. Heiligh was two-yards away in 2020 from posting consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons while catching a combined 17 touchdowns in his last two years with the Chanticleers. Lassiter II improved every year for the Jayhawks, averaging 11.1 yards per reception in his redshirt senior season. Pryor provides some versatility, displaying some rushing ability for the Badgers throughout his college career in addition to his duties as a receiver. Sorenson had an impressive freshman year for the RedHawks before going relatively quiet over the next two seasons. He came back with a vengeance in his final college season, exploding for 1,406 yards and 10 touchdowns.