Running back Chris Perry was released Monday
by the Cincinnati Bengals, who also were prepared to cut ties with
offensive tackle Levi Jones, another former first-round pick.
Perry was the 26th overall pick out of Michigan in 2004, when
the Bengals envisioned him as their running back for years to come.
Instead, he started only three games in the next four seasons,
spending a lot of time recovering from a hernia, a hamstring
injury, knee and ankle problems and a broken lower leg.
Finally healthy, he got the starting job last season but
struggled and was replaced by Cedric Benson. Perry gained 269 yards
on 104 carries last season, a 2.6-yard average. His release was
anticipated after the Bengals gave Benson a contract extension in
The Bengals also are planning to get rid of Jones, who was the
10th overall pick in the 2002 draft but has been bothered by knee
and leg problems in recent seasons. He started the first 10 games
last season at left tackle before getting hurt.
Jones got a six-year extension before the 2006 season, which was
the last on his previous contract. He was paid $21 million over the
first three years of the deal. His agent, Ken Zuckerman, said in a
phone interview on Monday night that the team informed him last
month that Jones would be gone.
"They told me they plan to trade Levi or release him by the
draft," Zuckerman said. "You can't get enough tackles. We were
The Bengals took tackle Andre Smith from Alabama with the sixth
overall pick on Saturday, helping to fill their biggest need. They
released right tackle Willie Anderson in the final cut before the
start of last season, and lost right tackle Stacy Andrews in the
offseason, when he signed with Philadelphia.
The offensive line was a big problem last season, when
quarterback Carson Palmer was hit often and the offense finished
last in the league. Palmer had a broken nose, sprained ankle and
torn tendon and ligament in his passing elbow, causing him to miss
a dozen games.
Also on Monday, the Bengals terminated the contracts of safety
Mike Doss and tight end Nate Lawrie, and waived linebacker Eric
Henderson and running back Gary Russell.