Whats next for Antonio Bryant?
Earlier this off-season the Bengals made a big splash in free agency when they targeted the young Tampa Bay WR Antonio Bryant, and turned down the older Terrell Owens. Now that both are in Cincy, fans are starting to wonder what it means for Bryant. He has not practiced since the first day of camp and has missed all of the on field work this preseason. With T.O. now supplanting Bryant in the starting slot position at wide receiver, Bryant may not only be out of a starting role, he could be out of a spot on the team all together.
With his injury lingering throughout all of camp and the fact that he is ineligible to be placed on the PUP list the Bengals find themselves faced with a tough call to make before next week regarding Bryant’s future with the club. Bryant has already made nearly $8 million dollars without ever playing a down for Cincinnati. If Antonio is on the roster when the season starts he makes another $3 million guaranteed. So do the Bengals risk the money and try to ride out their investment, or do they place him on IR and possibly cut him? The inclination is they want to try to ride this injury out because they could have a scary good wide receiving core with Bryant healthy, but if it comes to next week and he is still weeks off of a return do not be surprised to see Bryants name placed on IR or even cut from Cincy’s squad.
Another thing to remember is if he is cut or placed on injured reserve (which would end his season) the Bengals would have another roster spot to offer to the battling bubble receivers. This could be good news for Matt Jones and Jerome Simpson as well as Quan Cosby and possibly the long shot rookie Dez Briscoe.