Wyche: Trade Better Than Nothing : Pro football: Bengal coach claims team would have had to cut a quality linebacker anyway. Club got rights to Rembert.

From Associated Press

Cincinnati Coach Sam Wyche, under criticism for trading starting linebacker Joe Kelly for unsigned rookie wide receiver Reggie Rembert, said Tuesday that the Bengals were so overstocked they would have had to cut a good linebacker anyway.

Wyche said that would be the case even if Rembert, a second-round pick who was unable to reach contract terms with the New York Jets, remains unsigned all year.

He reportedly is seeking a salary comparable to the $455,000 per year the Dallas Cowboys are paying second-round pick Alex Wright in a three-year contract. Rembert reportedly rejected a $398,000 offer from the Jets before being traded for Kelly and offensive tackle Scott Brown.

The Bengals like Kevin Walker at Kelly’s linebacker spot, and third-round draft pick Bernard Clark is available to back up Walker.


“We’re out nothing,” Wyche said when asked what would happen if Rembert doesn’t sign. “We would have had to still cut that linebacker and that lineman, so we haven’t lost anything. All we’ve got is the rights to a potentially very good wide receiver. If we sign him in March and he comes next year, then we’re that far ahead next year.”

Tuesday, teams had to get to the 60-player limit. Many reached that Monday and others were making adjustments late Tuesday.

Hanford Dixon, the former Cleveland Brown cornerback signed by the San Francisco 49ers as a Plan B free agent, announced his retirement and the team waived four players, including two veterans, guard Tom Neville and nose tackle Steve Hamilton.

In Miami, reserve Dolphin safety Liffort Hobley, whose 5-year-old daughter drowned in a swimming pool accident last Thursday, rejoined the team.


“I wouldn’t have done myself any more good sitting at home grieving,” Hobley said. “I’ll be grieving for the rest of my life. But I have a job to do.”

In San Diego, the Chargers obtained a two-week roster exemption for first-round draft pick Junior Seau, who signed Sunday, meaning he won’t count against the 60-player limit.

In Cleveland, the Browns’ offensive line got a lift when tackle Paul Farren, who started 13 games last season, agreed to a contract. However, linebackers Clay Matthews and Mike Johnson and defensive backs Frank Minniefield and Felix Wright remain holdouts.

But the Browns lost fullback Tim Manoa for the season when he was placed on injured reserve along with third-string quarterback Jeff Graham. Starting guard Dan Fike was placed on the physically unable to perform list.


In Washington, three potential Redskin starters, offensive lineman Mark May, defensive end Jumpy Geathers and defensive back A.J. Johnson, were placed on the physically unable to perform list, allowing them to return after the fourth week of the season. All are recovering from knee injuries.

The Redskins also waived running back Reggie Dupard, a former No. 1 choice by the New England Patriots.

In New Orleans, the Saints made no decision on ninth-year quarterback Dave Wilson. Wilson, a first-round draft choice in 1981, said he no longer considers himself a part of the team and drove away Monday while the rest of the team was in meetings.

In Seattle, former Raider quarterback Rusty Hilger was among 12 players waived by the Seahawks, who also acquired offensive lineman Ronnie Lee from the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday. Seattle gets a draft choice in return.