Trey Hopkins

Bengals Notes: Price, Green, Dennard, QBs

After losing starters Clint Boling and Jonah Williams this offseason, the Bengals will have another new first-stringer up front. They are set to bench center Billy Price, a 2018 first-round pick, for veteran Trey Hopkins, Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic tweets. This marks a setback in Price’s development. The Ohio State alum struggled as a rookie, playing in only 10 games and grading as Pro Football Focus’ fourth-worst full-time center. A sixth-year UDFA who has made 21 Bengals starts over the past two seasons, Hopkins fared better in 589 snaps in 2018. He graded as PFF’s No. 21 snapper and will parlay that into a Week 1 job.

Additionally, Price’s former Ohio State teammate, fourth-round rookie guard Michael Jordan, will be Cincinnati’s left guard starter. Should an injury befall Hopkins, Jordan or starting left guard John Miller, Dehner adds (via Twitter) Price will return to center.

Here is the latest out of southwest Ohio:

  • Darqueze Dennard is expected to begin the season on the Bengals’ reserve/PUP list, according to Geoff Hobson of the team’s website. The recently re-signed cornerback underwent knee surgery before re-upping with the Bengals. While the team knew Dennard would need surgery after re-signing him, it is certainly a bad sign when a player on a one-year deal will be out at least six regular-season games. Dennard signed for $4.5MM in March.
  • A.J. Green will join Dennard in being out for the start of the season, and it’s uncertain when the perennial Pro Bowl wideout will return. But Hobson adds the Bengals will still attempt to extend Green, who is entering his age-31 season. The Bengals already extended Tyler Boyd. Earlier this offseason, Green expressed a desire to stay in Cincinnati after his 2019 contract year. But that was before he suffered an ankle injury that is expected to keep him out of multiple September games.
  • While Green recovers, a rookie UDFA will take his place. Damion Willis will start alongside Boyd, Zac Taylor said (via Dehner, on Twitter). Willis was part of Cincinnati’s initial post-draft free agent class, signing with the team out of Troy. He has certainly enjoyed a standout preseason.
  • Ryan Finley has commandeered the Bengals’ backup job, and the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Tyler Dragon expects this to push Jeff Driskel off the roster. Driskel has run into hamstring trouble and was making an attempt to show versatility by lining up at wide receiver recently. The former sixth-round pick started five games last season.

Bengals OL Trey Hopkins Signs RFA Tender

Bengals offensive lineman Trey Hopkins has signed his second-round restricted free agent tender, the club announced today. Hopkins will now be paid 3.095MM for the 2019 season.

Hopkins was one of 15 NFL restricted free agents to be tender at the second-round level, and he’s the fourth — following Steelers guard B.J. Finney, Broncos defensive tackle Shelby Harris, and Raiders cornerback Daryl Worley — to officially sign his tender. There was no rush for Hopkins to ink his tender, as RFAs have until April 19 to work out offer sheets with other clubs. However, it was always unlikely that any NFL team would have been willing to sacrifice a second-round pick in order to land Hopkins.

Hopkins joined the Bengals as an undrafted free agent in 2014, but didn’t see regular action until the 2017 campaign. That year, Hopkins started 12 games at right guard that ranked among the NFL’s bottom-12 teams in both run- and pass-blocking, per Football Outsiders. He initially lost his starting job at the outset of the 2018 season, but eventually played nearly 60% of Cincinnati’s offensive snaps while seeing action all along the interior offensive line.

Although he earned a better grade from Pro Football Focus than rookie first-round center Billy Price, Hopkins isn’t expected to take over at the pivot in 2019. In fact, with Clint Boling installed at left guard and free agent addition John Miller taking over on the right side, Hopkins won’t have a starting role at all. Instead, he’ll serve as a valuable depth on a front five that will be tasked with protecting Andy Dalton and clearing lanes for Joe Mixon next season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/8/19

Here are today’s restricted free agent and exclusive rights free agent tender decisions:

RFAs

Second round tender:

Tendered at original-round level:

ERFAs

Tendered:

Bengals Place A.J. Green On IR

A.J. Green‘s season is officially over. Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports (via Twitter) that the star wideout has been placed on the injured reserve. The team has promoted offensive lineman Trey Hopkins from the practice squad to take Green’s roster spot.

A.J. GreenIt appeared that Green was going to make his return from a hamstring injury last weekend, but the organization abruptly announced that the wideout would miss the contest. This caused a bit of drama in the locker room, as Green and his teammates were preparing for the receiver to take the field for the first time since mid-November. Reports indicated that ownership made the decision to keep Green out of the game in an attempt to prevent any further injury.

Despite the fact that the “rug got pulled out from under” the squad, Green denied reports that he was unhappy with the organization. Still, the wideout wasn’t spotted at the Bengals facility this week. ESPN.com’s Bob Holtzman reported that it’s “rare” for an injured player to be absent for so long.

Green finished the 2016 season with 66 receptions for 964 yards and four touchdowns. It was the first time in the 28-year-old’s six-year career that he didn’t finish with at least 1,000 receiving yards. Despite the career-low numbers, Green was still selected as a Pro Bowler for the sixth time.

Hopkins joined the Bengals as an undrafted free agent out of Texas in 2014. The 24-year-old offensive guard was active for the Bengals Week 1 matchup against the Jets, but he didn’t end up taking the field. Hopkins could make his NFL debut this weekend.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/16/16

Friday’s minor moves:

  • The Bengals have made a couple of practice squad transactions, signing offensive lineman Trey Hopkins and cutting cornerback Tony McRae, according to Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer (Twitter link). The Bengals cut Hopkins on Thursday, but his time away from the organization didn’t last long. McRae has spent time with both Oakland and Cincinnati since the ex-North Carolina A&T defender went undrafted during the spring.
  • The Bills have signed linebacker Bryson Albright to their practice squad, per Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News (Twitter link). Albright has shuffled in and out of the Buffalo organization since it signed him as an undrafted free agent from Miami of Ohio on May 2.
  • The Saints have waived offensive tackle Ryker Matthews from IR with an injury settlement, tweets Nick Underhill of the New Orleans Advocate. Matthews, who signed with the Saints this year as an undrafted free agent from BYU, landed on IR on Aug. 1 with a knee injury.

Bengals Claim KeiVarae Russell Off Waivers

The Bengals have claimed rookie defensive back KeiVarae Russell, according to Rand Getlin (on Twitter). The Chiefs surprised everyone in the football world when they released the third-round rookie earlier this week. To make room, the Bengals cut guard Trey Hopkins. KeiVarae Russell (vertical)

[RELATED: Chiefs Restructure Justin Houston’s Contract]

Getlin reported yesterday that it was a “special teams numbers game” that led to Russell’s release. It’s fair to say that there is some agent-driven spin involved in that take. While there may be some truth to that, it’s extremely rare to see a third-round pick released in September. Any way you slice it, the selection of Russell was a failure by the Kansas City front office.

Russell racked up 60 tackles, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, and six pass deflections in his final season at Notre Dame. The cornerback ran a 4.43 second 40-yard-dash at his Pro Day, helping to solidify his draft stock in the spring.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC North

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC North teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Ravens, Bengals, Browns, and Steelers are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s AFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day. All links go to Twitter unless otherwise noted:

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers

Bengals Bring Roster To 53

The Bengals are now in roster compliance, having brought their roster to 53. The following players have been cut:

Additionally, DT Marcus Hardison was placed on injured reserve and WR Mario Alford was waived with an injury settlement, tweets Owcazrski.

Kumerow had been fighting for a reserve wide receiver spot on a Cincinnati club that lost several of its pass-catchers over the offseason. And though he offers special teams value, Kumerow wasn’t able to beat out the likes of Cody Core and Alex Erickson to join a depth chart that includes A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, and Brandon LaFell.

On Friday, the Bengals released safety Jimmy Wilson.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/11/16

Today’s minor signings, cuts, and other moves:

  • The Vikings announced that they have inked the following seven players to reserve/future deals: guard Isame Faciane, wide receiver Isaac Fruechte, defensive tackle Toby Johnson, safety John Lowdermilk, linebacker Terrance Plummer, running back Blake Renaud, and linebacker Alex Singleton. Renaud has had several stints with the Vikings’ taxi squad since coming out of Boise State.
  • The Jets announced (on Twitter) that they have signed tackle Jesse Davis and tight end Adrien Robinson to reserve/future contracts. The Jets also signed offensive lineman Lawrence Okoye to a futures deal, Brian Costello of the New York Post tweets.
  • The Bears announced (Twitter link) that they have signed linebacker Keith Browner to reserve/futures contract. Browner appeared in three games for Houston in 2014. The 6’4″, 288 pound athlete played college football at Cal and has also been listed as a defensive end in the past.
  • The Texans signed guard Karim Barton, center Dalton Freeman, running back Kenny Hilliard, wide receiver Josh Lenz, cornerback Robert Nelson, defensive end Dan Pettinato, outside linebacker Gerald Rivers, linebacker Tony Washington, and tight end Eric Tomlinson to reserve/future deals, per Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter).
  • The Titans signed former Vanderbilt cornerback Steven Clarke to a futures deal, Jim Wyatt of Titans Online tweets.
  • The Bengals announced that they have signed the following players to futures deals: wide receiver Michael Bennett, linebacker Jayson DiManche, guard Trey Hopkins, wide receiver Jake Kumerow, tight end Matt Lengel, and linebacker Jeff Luc.

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC North

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC North teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Ravens, Bengals, Browns, and Steelers are noted below.

Additionally, as of 11:00am today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. For the 2014 and 2015 seasons, changes were made to practice squad rules that allow teams to carry eight players instead of 10, and the eligibility requirements for those extra two spots were also loosened. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

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

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

(press release)

  • Removed from IR list:
    • WR Onterio McCalebb
  • Signed to practice squad:
    • T Dan France
    • CB Troy Hill
    • G Trey Hopkins
    • WR Jake Kumerow
    • TE Matt Lengel
    • LB Trevor Roach
    • RB Terrell Watson
    • QB Keith Wenning
    • RB James Wilder Jr.
    • DT DeShawn Williams

Cleveland Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers

(press release)

  • Signed:
    • RB Jordan Todman
  • Claimed off waivers:
    • DT Caushaud Lyons
  • Cut:
    • LB Anthony Chickillo
    • CB Doran Grant
  • Signed to practice squad:
    • RB Dominique Brown
    • DB Jordan Dangerfield
    • OL Reese Dismukes
    • LB L.J. Fort
    • LB Shayon Green
    • DE Ethan Hemer
    • OL Antonio Johnson
    • WR Shakim Phillips
    • TE Harold Spears
    • WR Jarrod West
    • OL Matt Feiler (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson)