Isaiah Prince

Bengals Make Three Waiver Claims

SEPTEMBER 2: To no surprise, the Bengals are indeed re-signing Allen, Thomas and Williams now that they have the open roster spots to do so, per a team announcement. Cincinnati is also placing safety Tycen Anderson and tackle Isaiah Prince on IR.

AUGUST 31: The Bengals have made some notable additions in the aftermath of yesterday’s roster cutdowns. Per the waiver wire, they have claimed tight end Devin Asiasiguard Max Scharping and defensive tackle Jay Tufele.

[RELATED: Bengals Expected To Sign TE Howard]

Asiasi came to New England with significant expectations, given his draft status and the organization’s success at the position. The third-rounder made just 10 appearances in his first two seasons, though, recording only a pair of receptions. The Patriots made a substantial free agent investment in Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith last offseason, limiting his future with the team. In Cincinnati, he will face steep competition for playing time from Hayden Hurst and, in all likelihood, O.J. Howard.

Scharping is in a similar situation to Asiasi in terms of being an underwhelming high draft choice yet to finish their rookie contract. A 2019 second-rounder, the 26-year-old started 33 of the 48 contests he appeared in with the Texans, moving from the left to right guard spot this past season. Regardless of where he lined up, the Northern Illinois alum graded out in the mid-to-high 50s with respect to PFF rating, leaving him on the roster bubble. Scharping’s vacated spot is likely to be filled by A.J. Cann; he will challenge for a backup role behind top free agent addition Alex Cappa with the Bengals.

Tufele, meanwhile, has seen the least playing time of the new trio. As a rookie last season, he made just four appearances in Jacksonville, totaling two tackles. His PFF pass rush grade of 77 indicates some upside on third downs, which dates back to his time in college. Moving on from the USC alum so soon may have come as a surprise, though the additions of Folorunso Fatukasi and Adam Gotsis along the d-line were likely to significantly lessen his chance of seeing significant playing time with the Jaguars. The Bengals lost Larry Ogunjobi in free agency, but re-upped B.J. Hill, whom Tufele will look to provide depth behind his new home.

The defending AFC champions will return many of the members of last season’s team, but these additions could prove effective at areas of relative need. Among the cuts necessary to accommodate the new arrivals is veteran quarterback Brandon Allen. The 29-year-old signed a one-year deal for the third consecutive offseason to remain in Cincinnati.

For now, Allen’s departure leaves the Bengals with only Joe Burrow under center. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo tweets, however, that Allen “will be back.” Cincinnati is also parting ways with safety Michael Thomas and running back Trayveon Williams.

Latest On Bengals OT Isaiah Prince

The Bengals have plenty of new faces along their offensive line, but a familiar one could miss some time to start the season. Backup tackle Isaiah Prince suffered a bicep injury during practice this week, per Dave Clark of the Cincinnati Enquirer

Head coach Zac Taylor added that Prince is considered week-to-week, which puts his regular season availability in doubt. The 25-year-old was a regular with the team last season, making 15 appearances during the year and taking over for Riley Reiff at right tackle after the latter’s injury. Prince also started all four games during the team’s run to the Super Bowl.

The six-foot-seven, 305-pounder was relatively effective in the ground game, registering a PFF run block grade of 67.3. However, his struggles in pass protection – an issue throughout the entire unit for the Bengals – led to him ranking second-last in terms of overall grade. Despite Reiff’s departure, then, it came as little surprise that the Bengals sought out a replacement starter in free agency.

That came in the form of La’el Collins. The former Cowboy should provide an upgrade at right tackle, though he comes with notable injury concerns. His presence should relegate Prince to a backup role, but the former sixth-rounder has experience stepping into a starting spot when needed. With Collins expected to be healthy in time for Week 1, Prince missing some time wouldn’t be a major blow for the Bengals. An extended absence would hurt their depth at a position facing many questions, though, so his recovery will be worth watching in the coming weeks.

Bengals Set To Complete Offensive Line Renovation

The Bengals fell just short of their first ever Super Bowl win in their third appearance in the league’s season finale. As the final seconds ticked away, analysts’ fingers started pointing, with many of them directed at Cincinnati’s lackluster offensive line. 

In their loss to the Los Angeles Rams, the Bengals fielded Trey Hopkins at center, Jonah Williams at left tackle, Isaiah Prince at right tackle, Hakeem Adeniji at left guard, and Quinton Spain at right guard. Hopkins and Spain are free agents, no longer on the roster. Adeniji and Prince retain their roster spots, but are no longer projected to start. Williams, perhaps the only bright spot on the line last year, will return as the blindside blocker.

The Bengals worked ferociously in the offseason to address their deficiencies on offensive line. They signed three free agent offensive lineman who are all expected to come in and start right away. Ted Karras comes to Cincinnati after starting experience at center in both New England and Miami. Alex Cappa comes to town after three strong seasons as the Buccaneers’ starter at right guard. La’el Collins is ready to bookend the line with Williams after years of starting experience at right tackle in Dallas.

With Karras at center, Collins and Williams at tackle, and Cappa at right guard, that leaves one position up for grabs. The current favorite to start at left guard is 2021 second-round draft pick Jackson Carman. Carman served mainly as a backup last year for the Bengals earning six starts on the year while playing in every game. The main concern with starting Carman is the fact that he couldn’t supplant any of the lackluster starters from last year. Perhaps with a year of NFL football under his belt now, Carman will blossom into a strong starter at left guard.

The other favorite to man the last spot on the offensive line comes from Cincinnati’s most recent draft class, according to Ben Baby of ESPN. The Bengals used one draft pick this year on an offensive player, bestowing that honor upon the 23-year-old tackle out of North Dakota State, Cordell Volson. Volson served as the Bison’s right tackle in his last college years, but had experience at all four guard and tackle positions during his time in Fargo. That versatility will certainly come in handy as many college tackles tend to move to an interior lineman position if they aren’t projected to dominate as a tackle at the next level. Volson is sure to give Carman a run for his money as the Bengals look to put the finishing touch on their full offensive line renovation.

All the players mentioned above are the favorites to contribute on the offensive line this year, but the following players will attend camp with the hopes of stealing a starting job. At center, Cincinnati also rosters Trey Hill, Lamont Gaillard, and undrafted rookie Ben Brown. At guard, the Bengals’ roster lists D’Ante Smith and undrafted rookie Desmond Noel. The only tackle on the roster that wasn’t already mentioned is undrafted rookie Devin Cochran.

2020 NFL Opt Out Tracker

Per an agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA, players with COVID-19 health concerns can opt out of the 2020 season. Initially, the deadline was believed to be Tuesday, August 4. Talks between the league and the union have pushed it to August 6.

Chiefs guard and medical school graduate Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was the first player to officially opt out. Scores of players followed.

Here’s the rundown, so far:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • T Brad Seaton

Tennessee Titans

  • OL Anthony McKinney

Washington Football Team

Free agents

Bengals’ DT Josh Tupou Opts Out

Bengals nose tackle Josh Tupou will opt out of the 2020 season, sources tell Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). On the other side of the ball, offensive tackle Isaiah Prince has also chosen to sit out, per a club announcement.

Tupou appeared in all 16 of the Bengals’ games last year, including seven starts. This year, the Bengals were counting on him to once again serve as a key rotation piece behind defensive tackles Geno Atkins and D.J. Reader. They’re looking thin without him, especially after releasing Ryan Glasgow earlier this week. Tupou was set to earn $2.133MM in 2020. Now, that salary will be pushed into 2021 as his contract tolls.

Tupou and Prince are the first Bengals players to opt out of the season. In total, 30+ players have decided against playing, and many of those players are linemen. Given their body mass and the higher risk factor, that’s not a huge surprise. On the defensive side, Tupou joins a list that includes Eddie Goldman, Michael Pierce, Star Lotulelei, Kyle PekoEddie Vanderdoes, and John Atkins.

Bengals Place KR Brandon Wilson On IR

Little has gone right for the 1-11 Bengals, but they do employ the NFL’s leading kick returner. They will finish the season without Brandon Wilson, however.

The Bengals placed their impact return man on IR, clearing a roster spot for tackle Isaiah Prince. The Bengals used their top spot in the waiver priority to claim the former Dolphins blocker.

Wilson’s 31.3-yard kick-return average tops all of this season’s return men. A 91-yard touchdown return against the Ravens boosted this figure, but the Bengals will have to make new arrangements at kick returner going forward. The defensive back/returner is dealing with a hand injury and went through the interesting succession of limited practice-full practice-DNP this week. A 2017 sixth-round pick, Wilson can be controlled next year via RFA tender.

Prince started two Dolphins games in October and played in four overall. The Dolphins drafted him in the sixth round this year and will no longer oversee his development. The Bengals now hold Prince’s through-2022 contract.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/5/19

Today’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Miami Dolphins

AFC East Notes: Patriots, Bell, Dolphins

Add the Patriots to the list of teams who were high on promising Redskins wideout Terry McLaurin. In addition to the Raiders, the Patriots were intrigued by the Ohio State alum, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com notes. The Pats considered McLaurin with the No. 73 pick but instead dealt the selection to the Bears in exchange for a 2020 fourth-round choice and drafted Damien Harris at No. 87. Washington nabbed McLaurin at No. 76, and he’s become the team’s top wideout. Part of the reason the Patriots sought the ex-Buckeye was his potential for special teams work, responsibilities he might not become too familiar with due to his high-value role in Washington.

Here’s the Week 6 latest out of the AFC East, moving from one might-have-been Patriot to one of the longest-tenured players in franchise history:

  • Stephen Gostkowski is under contract through the 2020 season, but with his salary rising from $1.1MM to $3.5MM, Reiss adds that the Patriots will examine that figure and determine if it’s worth it to bring the veteran back. The team also stands to look at other options in the draft. The Pats have not drafted a kicker since taking Gostkowski in the 2006 fourth round. New England made a change at punter this year, moving from longtime incumbent Ryan Allen to fifth-round rookie Jake Bailey. Gostkowski will be recovering from hip surgery but would surely generate interest elsewhere if the Patriots jettison him.
  • Le’Veon Bell‘s 2018 absence stemmed largely from fear the Steelers would continue to overwork him and thus diminish his value on the 2019 market. Bell is on pace for 299 carries, which would be his second-highest single-season total. However, now that he’s secured $28MM in guarantees, the Jets starter is not worried about workload issues, per Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. Bell is averaging just 2.9 yards per carry on a shaky Jets offense.
  • Do not look for the 0-4 Dolphins to cut Josh Rosen‘s audition short. Brian Flores said (via the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero, on Twitter) his quarterback situation is “settled” for the rest of 2019, with Rosen set to keep the job that once belonged to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Rosen played well in the first half against the Chargers, and even though the Dolphins have been outscored 81-0 in four second halves this season, the 2018 No. 10 overall pick does not have to worry about looking over his shoulder.
  • It does not sound like one of Rosen’s former Cardinals teammates, Robert Nkemdiche, is ready to return from the Dolphins’ PUP list. But Miami DC Patrick Graham expects the defensive tackle to be back on the field by early November, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Nkemdiche’s 2018 season ended because of an ACL tear.
  • Look for running back Mark Walton and tackle Isaiah Prince to see more time for the rebuilding Dolphins soon, with Jackson noting Miami’s staff wants to integrate Walton into its Kenyan DrakeKalen Ballage rotation and was impressed by some of Prince’s Week 4 start against the Chargers. While Jesse Davis is back at practice this week after missing the Bolts game, pointing to his return at left tackle, the Dolphins figure to get Prince — a sixth-round rookie — plenty of reps this season on the right side as they continue in evaluation mode.

Dolphins Sign Christian Wilkins, Two Other Draft Picks

The Dolphins have signed first-round defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, fifth-round linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel, and sixth-round offensive tackle Isaiah Prince, the club announced today.

Entering a rebuild phase, Miami could have gone in any number of directions with the 13th overall pick. Some observers had the Dolphins pegged as landing spot for a first-round quarterback, but the club passed on Dwayne Haskins in order to land Wilkins. A high-effort player from Clemson’s fearsome defensive line, Wilkins brings excellent character to a Dolphins locker room that’s attempting to modify its culture.

Wilkins should see ample playing time during his rookie campaign, and Prince might, as well. The Dolphins’ offensive line performed like one of the worst units in the league last season, and their right tackle spot is currently manned by Zach Sterup. Prince should a decent chance at beating him put for the starting role.

Third-round guard Michael Deiter is now the only Miami draft pick left unsigned.