The Bengals released Brandon Tate. Roster cuts are always the worst part of preseason football. But, the business of the NFL is a reality.

The Cincinnati Bengals made their roster cuts and provided fans with a shocker. Brandon Tate was among the players cut to slice the squad down to 75. Tate has been a mainstay in the Bengals backfield since 2011. As the 4 p.m. deadline approached, many fans and pundits predicted the move. But, seeing it happen was still shocking.

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The termination of Tate is like losing your favorite pair of jeans. They have way too many holes to be stylish, but you want to keep them around for emotional reasons. Yet, in the business world of the NFL, it seems as if Tate had overstayed his welcome.

Bengals veterans and rookies were shocked and lost for words. Pro Bowl tackle Andrew Whitworth offered well wishes and positive thoughts for his longtime teammate.

"He's been a guy that's been essential to what we've done over the last couple years. He's been a pro's pro, a great example and leader for the guys. He will be missed. Definitely I think a guy that helped us probably more than people realized."

What Happened?

Brandon has been in Orange and Black since being picked up from the New England Patriots. Cincinnati fans began a love-hate relationship with Tate, after his return average began to diminish. He was a sure-handed punt returner with good decision-making skills. In 153 punt returns, he lost just one fumble. But, the lean is towards flash and dynamic play. That left the door open for Alex Erickson.

After a spectacular game against the Lions, Erickson essentially demanded a place on the roster. Tate showed flashes of potential, during the preseason. But, that wasn't enough to convince Marvin Lewis and Co. Fans had seen the future and its name was Erickson.

Special teams coach Darrin Simmons has named Erickson one of his returners. Rex Burkhead will be joining that bunch.

Tate won his share of games for the Bengal. But, it's time to move on. Erickson's ability to create in space will make diehard fans believers. To quote John Madden, "Speed Kills."

Coach Lewis had nothing but praise for Tate.

"Brandon Tate has meant a great deal to the football team and how to do things the correct way all the time," Lewis said. "That's one of the harder decisions we've had to make for a good person, good man, great family. Gives him hopefully another jump on an opportunity this year."

Look for big things out of Burkhead, Adam Jones, and Erickson.

Next: Please...Just One More?

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