Posted: 11:45 a.m.
On paper the Bengals are now down to their limit of 80 players for training camp in the wake of Tuesday's release of cornerback Simeon Castille. Not yet counting officially on the roster are the four top draft picks that remain unsigned after fourth-rounder Jonathan Luigs came to terms Tuesday.
Castille came out of Alabama to become the only college free agent rookie to open last season on the Bengals 53-man roster and got some quality snaps in the first four games of the season because of injuries. He only played three games the rest of the way and finished with nine tackles and a pass defensed.
The move is a slight surprise given that cornerback depth is seen as one of the more pressing problems on defense. Sixth-rounder Morgan Trent is going to be in the mix when veterans David Jones and Geoff Pope resume the battle for the third corner spot behind starters Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall. Also on the corner depth chart is free agent rookie Rico Murray.
Luigs, a former Rimington Trophy winner out of Arkansas, is expected to stick with the club as a backup center and guard. The remaining unsigned picks are both third-rounders, defensive end Michael Johnson and tight end Chase Coffman, as well as first-rounder Andre Smith and second-rounder Rey Maualuga. Smith is penciled in as the starting right tackle and Maualuga is expected to battle with incumbent Rashad Jeanty for the SAM linebacker job.