Stewart was a mainstay on the Texans’ special teams units in 2022, his debut season in Houston. His play has earned him a two-year, $6MM deal with a maximum value of $7.5MM, per Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 (Twitter link). The 27-year-old made 41 tackles (the second-highest total of his career) in 2022, adding a pair of fumble recoveries.
Pouncey signed a one-day contract to officially retire as a member of the Dolphins, the team which drafted him in 2011. The 33-year-old is two years removed from his joint retirement with brotherMaurkice. Pouncey earned three of his Pro Bowl nods during his seven-year stint in Miami, before spending a pair of seasons with the Chargers. The former first rounder reflected on the controversy surrounding his career, via ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques.
“If I thought how I think now, I’d still be with the Dolphins,” he said. “I look back at it like… if I was just a little bit more mature when I was playing… I have no regret of what I did here. Very proud of my career that I had here. Now, I just try to be looked at in a different light.”
Ferentz’s new deal has a value of $1.215MM, and includes $200K in guarantees, per Wilson (on Twitter). Another $30K in incentives are in place, though the 33-year-old will only account for $1.02MM on the cap by qualifying for the veteran salary benefit. Ferentz has been in New England for the past five years, starting nine games amongst his 39 appearances.
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:
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-Brittfigure 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 coachZac 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 incumbentsClark 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.
Following the trend we’ve been seeing the past couple of days, Cincinnati has joined the list of teams making the necessary roster moves for injured players. The team announced on Twitter that they are placing linebacker Joe Bachie, guard Alex Cappa, defensive end Khalid Kareem, running back Samaje Perine, and safety Brandon Wilson on the active/physically unable to perform list and offensive tackle La’el Collins on the active/non-football injury list.
This announcement likely invokes mixed reactions for Bengals’ fans. While they’ll rejoice to see the names of only two expected starters on the lists, the fact that those two names belong on the offensive line may send shivers up their spines. Cappa and Collins are parts of a major rebuild on the offensive line after the Bengals allowed a record-tying seven sacks in a Super Bowl LVI loss to the Rams. The two were brought in, alongside center Ted Karras, to hold down the right side of the offensive line opposite Jackson Carman and Jonah Williams.
Cappa’s addition to the list isn’t too much of a surprise. The former Buccaneer was sidelined in late-May with a minor core injury. Known for his toughness, Cappa, who has played with a broken arm and attempted to stay in a game with a broken leg, was expected to make a return before training camp, but his placement on the list is likely just a cautious attempt to give Cappa a bit more time to recover.
The Collins news is slightly more concerning. Collins has a reputation for missing games. During his time in Dallas, Collins appeared in 74 regular season games while missing 39. He was placed on injured reserve before the start of the 2020 NFL season with the expectation he may return, but ended up sitting out the entire year. He had a healthy 2021 season, but still missed five games due to a suspension. Not much information was presented about his NFI-status, which may cause some worry for a player who has violated the league’s policy on substance abuse in the past. Regardless of speculation, the Bengals will have plenty of time before the season starts to get the situation straightened out.
Perine is probably the next biggest name on the list. No information is available as to the reason he is physically unable to perform. Perine served last season as a pass-catching option out of the backfield and the backup running back behind former Oklahoma teammate Joe Mixon. Perine will look to do more of the same, competing with last year’s sixth-round draft pick Chris Evans for receiving back duties upon his return.
Wilson is an interesting name on this list. His career with the Bengals has primarily been on special teams with Wilson serving as the Bengals’ main kick returner last season. But, as a backup safety, Wilson could see an increased role depending on the results of conversations with starting safety Jessie Bates III. If discussions with Bates go south and lead to a hold out, Wilson is the next man up to start alongside Vonn Bell in the defensive backfield. Wilson is coming off of a torn ACL suffered in early-November of last season, so his placement on the list is not unexpected, but does add a new wrinkle in developments concerning Bates’ contract.
Bachie and Kareem are both backup defenders who saw their roles change from their first seasons in the league to their second. After appearing in every game as a rookie, Kareem didn’t make his 2021 season-debut until Week 8 and performed in a limited role that was further limited by injuries near the end of the year. Bachie went from a reserve player on the Eagles as a rookie to a backup linebacker on the Bengals in Year 2. Bachie tore his ACL in mid-December last year and is an unsurprising addition to the list as he works his way back from the knee injury.
There could always be additions to the list, as it isn’t official until Tuesday. Additionally, a player can come off of the list anytime during the preseason and can’t be on the list once they’ve practiced with the team. Any players still on the PUP list at the start of the regular season will be required to sit out a minimum of six games, but they won’t count against the roster as the team trims to 53 players.
While the Bengals have some important role players on this list, there’s little need to worry at this point in time. As long as they come off of the list before the season starts, there will be no league-restrictions on their participation.