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Cincinnati Bengals cut 21 players, put Vontaze Burfict on PUP

Vontaze Burfict is on the physically unable to perform list and will miss the first six games. AP Photo/Al Behrman

Most significant move: It will largely fly under the radar because Devon Still's release will dominate the Bengals' cut-day headlines, but the Cincinnati Bengals' decision to place linebacker Vontaze Burfict on the physically unable to perform list was their most significant move this weekend. The decision to officially sideline Burfict for the first six games will give them more time to make 100 percent sure that he's perfectly healthy to return to full football activity. On the heels of a microfracture surgery in January, Burfict spent all of the preseason going through rehab exercises on side practice fields. He never formally worked out with the rest of the team. With Burfict out of the picture for now, the Bengals were able to settle on taking six linebackers onto the regular season's active roster. Had they kept him active, they would have had seven at the position, and would have been answering questions about Burfict's status every week until he was healthy. Now, he has essentially eight weeks before those questions begin in earnest.

Carter, Little clear bubble: The move involving Burfict likely cleared the way -- for now -- for Chris Carter, a linebacker who had spent the past four seasons with Pittsburgh and Indianapolis. It appears he has finally found a home, playing an active role in the Bengals' 4-3 scheme that plays well to his strengths. The hybrid outside linebacker/rush defensive end didn't find a place in those previous 3-4 schemes. This preseason, he made opposing backfields his domain. He finished the four games with 3.5 sacks, including one that forced a fumble that helped lead to last Thursday's win against the Colts in the preseason finale. Along with Carter, the Bengals received solid production from Greg Little, the journeyman receiver who struggled to stick with them last fall. Before free agency opened in March, Little was among the players the Bengals had waived. He was re-signed at the start of training camp, though, when James Wright was put on injured reserve.

Still moves on: Still's release was not completely unexpected. After all, the reserve interior lineman entered camp fighting with nine others for five roster spots. He was among the odd men out, but he definitely put enough good tape together this preseason that he should land somewhere else quickly. He might not be a superstar player, but he could help some team's defensive line.

What's next? Just because this 53-man roster is all squared away to accommodate the league's Saturday deadline, so much can still change. Because of injuries and other changes that can occur from other rosters, the Bengals' 53-man setup now becomes fluid. It will be in constant change between now and the end of this season. Most immediate on the Bengals' horizon will be establishing a practice squad. They could have as few as eight players or as many as 10 on it. Although other teams could make moves impacting Cincinnati's practice-squad efforts, don't be surprised if many of the names below -- excluding Still -- end up on the practice squad.

Bengals cuts/moves: DT Still, WR Michael Bennett, OG Dan France, OG Tanner Hawkinson, CB Troy Hill, OG Trey Hopkins, WR Jake Kumerow, TE Matt Lengel, K Tom Obarski, OT Matt O'Donnell, S Floyd Raven Sr., LB Trevor Roach, C Jake Smith, RB Terrell Watson, RB James Wilder, Jr., QB Keith Wenning, DT DeShawn Williams, S Shiloh Keo, CB Brandon Ghee, LB Jayson DiManche (waived/injured -- knee), LB Marquis Flowers (waived/injured -- shoulder), LB Burfict (PUP/reserve list).