The Bengals all but admitted that receiver Antonio Bryant’s four-year, $28 million contract was a mistake when they signed Terrell Owens to start over Bryant last week. It’s believed the team felt “buyer’s remorse” after a poor offseason from Bryant, who is also rumored to be battling a lingering knee injury.
The Bengals repeatedly assured reporters at the outset of training camp that Bryant’s knee was not an issue, and didn’t place him on the active/Physically Unable to Perform list. According to the team’s Twitter account, however, Bryant is no longer practicing.
It is commonplace for teams to limit players coming off injury to once-a-day practicing, but that’s not the case with Bryant. He’s missed four straight practices. The team has not revealed why.
With PUP no longer an option, releasing Bryant might be a growing possibility. The Bengals had planned to use Bryant in the slot, but drafted a ready-made slot receiver in Jordan Shipley, and still have incumbent slot receiver Andre Caldwell. Cutting Bryant would save $1.55 million. The alternative would be to keep Bryant on roster, hope his knee heals on its own, and perhaps use him in a limited role during the season.
Either way, Bryant is the early favorite for worst signing of the 2010 offseason.