August 20th, 2017 at 2:47pm CST by Dallas Robinson
The Bengals have released defensive tackle Brandon Thompson, the club announced today. Cincinnati also waived wide receiver Karel Hamilton and running back Stanley Williams.
Thompson, 27, re-signed with the Bengals on a one-year contract prior to the 2016 season after having torn his ACL in December 2015. Although he attempted to work his way back to the field, Thompson never played last year and spent the campaign on the physically unable to perform list. As such, his contract tolled, meaning he was still under Cincinnati control for 2017.
A former third-round selection, Thompson never broke into the starting lineup for the Bengals during his five-year run with the club (with the exception of 2013, when he started seven contests after Geno Atkins went down with injury). Still, he was a serviceable reserve, appearing in 39 games and and posting three sacks from 2012-15.
Hamilton and Williams, meanwhile, were each undrafted rookie free agents earlier this year.
Nickerson is the son of Hardy Nickerson Sr., a former Pro Bowl linebacker and NFL coach. The elder Nickerson currently serves as Illinois’ defensive coordinator and that allowed him to coach his son towards the end of his collegiate career. Nickerson Jr. has been lauded for his work ethic, but some scouts question whether he can stick at the next level.
“He may get a legacy grade from some teams based on his tackle production and his bloodlines, but I’m struggling to find consistent tape of him where he looks like an NFL linebacker,” a regional scout for an NFC team told NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein.
The Bengals already have five running backs under contract, including rookie Joe Mixon, so tailbacks Jarveon Williams and Stanley Williams may be facing an uphill battle as they try to make the final cut.