Incumbent Randy Bullock stays as Bengals kicker
CINCINNATI (AP) The Bengals decided to stick with kicker Randy Bullock on Saturday, the most important decision they had to make in their roster moves before the season opener.
Bullock competed with fifth-round pick Jake Elliott during the preseason, alternating kicks during the four games. Bullock missed one field goal attempt, Elliott missed three. Both missed their final attempt during a preseason game in Indianapolis on Thursday night.
Coach Marvin Lewis said it came down not only to the preseason games but how they did in practice and training camp. Although Elliott had the advantage at the outset - the Bengals rarely get rid of a draft pick so quickly - Bullock got to keep the job . He finished last season after Mike Nugent was released.
''There's a lot of data,'' Lewis said. ''If it was anything close, Jake would have the job.''
Bullock was a fifth-round pick by the Texans in 2012. In the last two years, he has played for the Texans, the Jets, the Giants, the Steelers and the Bengals. He made five of his six field goal attempts with Cincinnati, missing a potential winner in Houston, and got a two-year extension after the season.
Bullock was determined to stick with the Bengals instead of having to wait for another kicker to struggle or get hurt during the season.
''You're waiting for your opportunity and staying ready,'' Bullock said last week. ''It's not fun being on the streets. That was my motivation this offseason. I wanted some stability.''
Lewis said during a conference call Saturday that the Bengals would consider signing Elliott to their practice squad if no other team claimed him.
The Bengals also released offensive tackle Eric Winston - the NFL players' union president - and defensive end Wallace Gilberry. Winston was a backup entering his 11th season.
Gilberry was with the Bengals from 2012-15. He left for Detroit as a free agent and played in the first four games last year before suffering an abdominal injury. The Lions released him and he returned to Cincinnati, playing in five games as part of the line rotation.
''Anytime you release a player that's been with you for a bit, it's tougher,'' Lewis said. ''But we've added three young players to the defensive line over the last two drafts, so we have to allow those guys the opportunity to grow and blossom.''
First-year halfback Tra Carson (groin) and rookie tight end Mason Schreck (knee) went on injured reserve and will miss the season.
Cornerback Adam ''Pacman'' Jones is suspended for the opener against Baltimore because of his offseason misdemeanor conviction. Linebacker Vontaze Burfict is serving a three-game NFL suspension for his latest egregious hit, during a preseason game.
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