Notes: Anderson released; Utecht decision

Posted Jul 10, 2013

Backup end Jamaal Anderson, who suffered a season-ending quad injury in his second game with the Bengals last year, was released.

Jamaal Anderson

Updated: 4:45 p.m.

Backup end Jamaal Anderson, who suffered a season-ending quad injury in his second game with the Bengals last year, was released Wednesday in another reminder of the depth of one of the NFL's top defensive lines.

After Anderson got hurt against the Browns on Sept. 16, the Bengals replaced him with Wallace Gilberry two days later. Gilberry, cut by Tampa Bay two days before the Bengals beat the Browns, responded with 6.5 sacks and earned a three-year deal on the eve of free agency this past March.


Then a few weeks after re-signing Gilberry to back up franchise player Michael Johnson, the Bengals took SMU defensive end Margus Hunt in the second round of the draft.

Anderson, the eighth overall pick in the 2007 draft, didn't leave empty-handed. Back in April he indicated there had been some "negotiation" when he turned over his No. 92 to James Harrison.

"There was a small negotiation. You treat it like any other business deal. You weigh the pros and cons and you make a decision," Anderson said. "We know what it is. It’s a gentlemen’s agreement so hopefully both parties go about their ways in getting it complete."

The Bengals have 88 players on the roster, two under the minimum 16 days before their first training camp practice. Anderson had been slated to make $2.5 million in 2013, a number that no doubt had been discounted once Gilberry re-upped.

UTECHT DECISION: With the Hard Knocks cameras about to invade Bengaldom again, one of the more frightening and yet engrossing stories from the 2009 series officially came to a close Wednesday when an arbitrator found in favor of former Bengals tight end Ben Utecht in his contract dispute with the club.

The cameras caught Utecht lying on the practice field unconscious after he was clipped during a drill and then showed him getting strapped to a board and rushed from the facility. After being placed on season-ending injured reserve at the end of the preseason and undergoing a series of concussion tests, Utecht's contract was terminated Nov. 17, 2009. The NFL Players Association later filed an injury grievance to enforce Utecht’s right to be paid for the time he was unable to play because of the concussion.

On Wednesday the NFLPA released a statement  saying the arbitrator sided with Utecht because the player “had not been sufficiently tested, both in his aerobic and strength reconditioning program, nor had he been tested in sport specific activities which would be a more accurate means of determining whether the damage caused by the concussion had ‘cleared.’ ”

But the club disputed the notion it was trying to get him on the field and said it made the move after an independent doctor advised the timing for a release was "proper."

“The substantive issue involved in Ben’s case was when we could release him from his contract. Ben was placed on the Reserve/Injured list on Aug. 31, ending any chance for him to play for us in 2009, so there was never a question of the Club attempting to get him ‘cleared to play,' " the club said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.

"He was not released until Nov. 17, so he was carried on the payroll for more than three months after the Aug. 5 injury, and he was then released, on the advice of an independent neurologist that the timing was proper. Ben received excellent medical care throughout the process. This is simply a CBA and contract case. We disagree with the finding that the release should have occurred at a later point, but at this point we must accept it and move on.”

Utecht, who also released a statement Wednesday, hasn't played again and has immersed himself in the singing/songwriting career he began to pursue as a player. He plans to release at some point this year a book and a song.

“My upcoming album will trace my path out of the ashes, redefining who I am," he said in the statement. "The songs will journey through concussions, perseverance, fear, love and virtue. My book is entitled GPS 4 Life and will share my path and encourage others to discover their gifts, passions and spirit.”


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