The addition of Dre Kirkpatrick in the first round means that the Bengals now have a glut of cornerbacks on the roster.
They’ll need to pare down the group at some point and Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer points to Nate Clements as a guy who could be headed out the door. Clements is set to make $4.3 million in base salary this season and that could make his roster spot vulnerable if the team decides Kirkpatrick is ready to start at left corner as a rookie.
Such a turn of events is complicated by the fact that the Bengals don’t know what they are going to get from Leon Hall this season. Hall has started doing some running in his recovery from a torn Achilles, but there’s no sign yet that he’s going to be ready to go full speed when the team gets to camp or the start of the regular season. As mentioned, there are no shortage of options at corner, but Terence Newman, Pacman Jones and company haven’t been as reliable on the field as Clements has been for the Bengals.
On the surface, the move seems to make more economic sense than football sense although it wouldn’t be the first time something happened for those reasons.