With the league mandated deadline to reduce their roster to 75 players approaching, the Bengals began making moves on Monday to get within the mandated maximum number.
The Cincinnati Bengals released and/or waived five players on Monday, including cornerback R.J. Stanford who had his contract terminated and will immediately enter free agency. Defensive tackle Larry Black, place kicker Quinn Sharp and safety Isaiah Lewis were waived, as was veteran wide receiver Ryan Whalen -- typically the seventh wide receiver that the team always took (and could never seem to get rid of) in recent years.
This brings Cincinnati's roster to 81 players. They need to make six additional cuts by Tuesday afternoon (4 p.m, ET).
Whalen, a former sixth-round pick in the 2011 NFL draft, played 17 career games with the Bengals and posted 11 receptions for 80 yards receiving. Despite playing four games in 2013, he didn't post any receptions. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Whalen attach with the Indianapolis Colts, reuniting with college quarterback Andrew Luck.
Black was the emotional story from last year's Hard Knocks when he dislocated his ankle, but struggled to press for additional playing time this season -- he only contributed with 21 defensive snaps in the preseason and sat against the Arizona Cardinals. Plus, the arrival of LaKendrick Ross, who joined the team after falling through the supplemental draft, made it virtually impossible for Black. Perhaps cousin Sirius has ideas for an alternative career-move.
Sharp converted two field goals, including a 51-yarder against the Cardinals on Sunday. Of the five that are leaving Cincinnati on Monday, he may find a home the soonest. And by releasing him on Monday, rather than waiting for a non-existent competition to settle, Quinn will have ample opportunities to find something soon.
Before Stanford struggled against the Cardinals, he played a serviceable backup role with positive Pro Football Focus scores during the preseason. Then against Arizona, he allowed two completions (out of two passes thrown to receivers he was covering) for 42 yards receiving and a touchdown. Bad luck. But he was a long-shot.
More from sbnation.com:
- The dead Carson Palmer storyline in Cincinnati
- Julio Jones embarrasses Titans secondary on way to 52-yard TD (GIF)
- Bengals owner Mike Brown being treated for minor medical condition
- Film Room: Bengals are in trouble if Thompson has to start
- Jets cut Jacoby Ford; Why Bengals may show interest
- 2014 Cincinnati Bengals Player Previews