Bengals Release Safety, and Team Notes

The Bengals released veteran safety and special teams player JoJuan Armour today to reach the NFL's maximum roster limit. They now have 66 players remaining and must cut 13 more to reach the opening day maximum of 53. The final cut down must be done by Sunday at 4 p.m.

"I wish I could have made more plays on special teams, but other than that I'm happy with how I played. I played well at safety and I held up my end of it," said Armour as he left Paul Brown Stadium Monday afternoon. "They're in it to win and I guess I wasn't in their plans. It is what it is."

The move leaves the Bengals with five safeties on the roster, although there are some indications that this won't be the only move of the day at the position. It is unsure whether the Bengals will keep nine or 10 defensive backs or how many safeties will be in that mix.

Armour, from nearby Miami University, has been with the Bengals since he was acquired off of waivers from Jacksonville in 1999. He originally was a seventh-round pick of Oakland that year after earning Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors as a linebacker both his junior and senior seasons, but was waived at the end of the preseason. He was on Jacksonville's inactive list for the first two games of the regular season before the Jaguars waived him.

The Bengals picked him up on Sept. 21 and he bounced around from the playing field to the practice squad and then back onto the 53-man roster by the time the season was finished. By early in the 2001 season, Armour had learned the strong safety position well enough to earn the starting spot. He finished fifth on the team with 77 tackles and added another 15 tackles on special teams.

Armour ended 2002 with 61 tackles, 10 tackles on special teams and a blocked field goal attempt at Houston. It was Cincinnati's first blocked field goal or punt since 1999.

Head coach Marvin Lewis gave Armour the word that he had been released.

"The way everything went down, I couldn't ask for more," said Armour. "All I've wanted is for a person to be honest with me and coach Lewis has been totally honest from the beginning. I had an opportunity to play on this team and I had a huge role on special teams. I can't ask for no more than for somebody to be totally honest with me from the beginning and that's what he was with me. He was a class act with everything. I don't regret anything."

Kevin Goheen

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