The Bengals cut Antonio "I guess he's pretty good, but he's been stuck in Tampa Bay, so who the hell knows" Bryant, and will owe him $8 million just for showing up to camp for a few weeks. It could be worse.
First off, they didn't need him. After signing a heavily discounted Terrell Owens to line up opposite Chad Ochocinco, there wasn't really a spot for Bryant. Not with the promising Andre Caldwell and the effective-when-not-getting-busted-with-cocaine Matt Jones in the fold.
Secondly, it would have been good money after bad if he didn't work out. It's an uncapped year. Bryant's 4-year, $28 million contract doesn't count against them this season, though it would have in 2011 (if there's going to be football at all.)
And here's the thing. We're supposed to think the Bengals screwed up because they're out $8 million? Try pulling this in other sports, where contracts are actually contracts, and both parties are expected to honor them. They'd be out $28 million. In a roundabout way, they're up 20 mil. This is exactly why NFL owners fought for non-guaranteed deals.
And don't weep for Bryant. He'll find another job (even if the Raiders don't want him), and get a nice incentives-laden contract on top of his $8 million consolation prize.
Bengals release receiver Antonio Bryant [Cincinnati Enquirer]