Which Former Cincinnati Bengals Players, Coaches Are on UFL Rosters?

The new United Football League features a number of former Cincinnati Bengals, including draft picks, who are making an impact this season.

CINCINNATI – The United Football League (UFL), which is the product of a merger of the XFL and United States Football League, opened its inaugural season last weekend, and there were a number of former Cincinnati Bengals players dotting the rosters.

Some made significant contributions to the Bengals during their time in Cincinnati, while others were practice squad members or training camp participants.

Former Bengals Draft Picks Playing in UFL

There also are several former University of Cincinnati Bearcats in the new league, as well as a few Cincinnati natives who played college outside of Ohio.

The UFL coaching staffs also feature a number of connections to the Bengals.

Week 2 of the UFL kicks off Saturday with two games, one at noon and one at 8 p.m. There will be two more games Sunday at noon and 4 p.m.

All games are broadcast on FOX, and if you’re missing football and tuning in, here’s a list of the local connections to watch.

Arlington Renegades

Will Clarke, EDGE

A third-round pick in 2014, Clarke appeared in 35 games for the Bengals in three seasons. Clarke, who will be 33 next month, also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2017-18. He had three tackles for the Renegades in their Week 1 loss to the Birmingham Stallions.

Jay Hayes, Defensive Coordinator

The Renegades’ defensive coordinator, Hayes was the Bengals’ defensive line coach for 13 seasons under Marvin Lewis, coaching alongside his brother Jonathan Hayes.

Delonte Hood, Cornerback

He signed with the Bengals as an undrafted free agent in 2022 and was with the team through training camp.

Birmingham Stallions

O’Shea Dugas, Offensive Tackle

He signed with the Bengals as an undrafted college free agent in 2019 and spent parts of two seasons on the practice squad.

Darius Harper, Offensive Tackle (UC)

A Miami University basketball player for two seasons, Harper transferred to the University of Cincinnati in 2018. He played three seasons for the Bearcats, earning Honorable Mention All-American Athletic Conference in 2020.

He joined the Los Angeles Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2021, spending time on the practice squad.

Jordan Thompson, Defensive End

The Cincinnati native (LaSalle High School) was a three-year starter at Northwestern before joining the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent.

Thompson had two tackles in Birmingham’s 27-14 win in Week 1.

D.C. Defenders

Lamont Gaillard, Center

Originally a member of the Arizona Cardinals’ 2019 undrafted free agent class, Gaillard landed in Cincinnati when the Bengals claimed him off waivers in July 2021.

He spent the 2021 season on the practice squad and remained with the team through training camp 2022.

Niles Scott, Defensive Tackle

The Bengals signed Scott off the Denver Broncos’ practice squad in 2018 and played him in six games, in which he recorded four tackles.

In 2019, Scott suffered an injury in training camp and went on injured reserve.

Pooka Williams Jr., Running Back

Williams signed with the Bengals as an undrafted free agent in 2021 and appeared in one game, the season finale at Cleveland when Cincinnati rested all of its starters.

Cincinnati waived him a week into training camp in 2022.

Last week for the Defenders, Williams returned five kickoffs for 122 yards and three punts for 35 yards. He also had two receptions for six yards and one rush for nine yards in the team’s 27-12 loss to the San Antonio Brahmas.

Houston Roughnecks

Reid Sinnett, Quarterback

The former University of San Diego quarterback entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the Buccaneers in 2020 and spent time with the Dolphins and Eagles before signing with the Bengals in July 2023 after Joe Burrow went down with a calf injury on the second day of training camp.

The Bengals waived Sinnett on cutdown day. But when Burrow re-injured the calf in Week 2, Cincinnati brought Sinnett back to the practice squad ahead of the Week 3 game against the Rams, then waived him a week later.

Sinnett is the Roughnecks’ backup quarterback.

Ja’Von Hicks, Safety

The Cincinnati native (Colerain High School) stayed home and attended UC, where he was a two-year starter and was voted second-team All-AAC in 2022.

He had two tackles in Houston’s 18-12 loss to Memphis in Week 1.

Memphis Showboats

Matt Coghlin, Kicker

The Cincinnati native (Moeller High School) played collegiately at Michigan State and signed with the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent.

Coghlin kicked field goals of 27 and 51 yards in Memphis’ 18-12 win against the Houston Roughnecks in Week 1.

James Tunstall, Offensive Tackle

He was a two-year starter at UC and voted second-team All-AAC in 2022.

Jim Turner, Run Game Coordinator

He joined Zac Taylor’s first coaching staff as offensive line coach and spent two seasons with the Bengals. Turner is coaching Memphis’ offensive line in addition to his duties as run game coordinator.

Michigan Panthers

Noah Dawkins, Linebacker

He signed with the Bengals as a UDFA in 2019 and spent the first month of the season on the practice squad before Tampa Bay signed him.

Dawkins appeared in 17 games over three seasons with the Buccaneers and Jets.

Devin Gray, Wide Receiver

The former UC Bearcat signed with the Falcons as an undrafted free agent in 2018 and also spent time with the Ravens and Chiefs, but he never appeared in a game.

He had one catch for six yards in Michigan’s 18-16 victory against the St. Louis Battlehawks in Week 1.

San Antonio Brahmas

Darius Phillips, Cornerback

The Bengals drafted Phillips in the fifth round in 2018, and he appeared in 47 games with 10 starts over four seasons. In 2019, Phillips had four interceptions while playing just 109 snaps.

MORE: Are the Cincinnati Bengals More Likely To Trade Up or Trade Back in the Draft?

Phillips had an interception and a tackle for loss in San Antonio’s 27-12 win against the Defenders in Week 1.

Wyatt Ray, Defensive End

The Bengals claimed Ray off waivers from the Tennessee Titans after cutdown day in 2021. He appeared in 15 games with one start that year.

Ray had 1.5 sacks for the Brahmas in their 27-12 win against the Defenders.

St. Louis Battlehawks

Freedom Akinmoladun, Defensive End

Initially a member of the New York Giants’ 2019 UDFA class, Akinmoladun signed with the Bengals in November of that season.

Akinmoladun spent two years in Cincinnati, appearing in four games. He recorded two tackles in St. Louis’ 18-16 loss to Michigan in Week 1.

Kyle Caskey, Running Backs Coach

He was the running backs coach for the Bengals for nine seasons from 2010-18.

Bruce Gradkowski, Offensive Coordinator

Gradkowski is the answer to the trivia question, “Who threw A.J. Green’s first touchdown reception?” He came on in relief of the injured Andy Dalton in the 2011 opener, and that was the only touchdown pass he threw during his two seasons with the team.

AJ McCarron, Quarterback

A fan favorite in Cincinnati since the moment the team drafted him in the fifth round in 2014, McCarron threw the go-ahead touchdown pass to A.J. Green in the 2015 Wild Card round, only to watch Vontaze Burfict and Adam Jones melt down to cost Cincinnati its first postseason win since 1990.

McCarron returned for a second stint with the team last September when Burrow re-injured his calf. He got to play in December while backup Jake Browning was dealing with a forearm issue, completing 4 of 5 passes for 19 yards.

KEEP READING: Top UFL Quarterbacks 2024

The Bengals released McCarron in February to free him to sign with St. Louis. In an 18-16 loss to the Panthers last week, McCarron completed 24 of 37 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns.

Jacob Saylors, Running Back

Saylors was a member of Cincinnati’s 2023 undrafted free agent class and stayed with the team through the end of training camp, when he was waived.

He had six carries for seven yards and two receptions for 24 yards in the Battlehawks’ 18-16 loss to Michigan last week.

Carson Wells, Linebacker

A member of the 2022 UDFA class, Wells was released midway through training camp that season. He had one tackle in St. Louis’ 18-16 loss to the Panthers.

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