Doug Gabriel is hoping to restart a career that had been dormant since the final month of the 2006 season. He will have to do that somewhere else than Cincinnati. The Bengals released Gabriel on Thursday, less than two months after the team signed him to a one-year contract.
The team added rookie cornerback Jerrid Gaines, from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, to replace Gabriel on the roster. Gaines (5-11, 189) signed with Cleveland as an undrafted college free agent after the draft but the Browns released him on May 4. The addition of Gaines gives the Bengals seven cornerbacks on the roster. Only Deltha O'Neal and Blue Adams have more than two years of experience in the NFL.
Gabriel was a fifth-round pick of Oakland in 2003 and had 101 career catches in 57 games. The Raiders traded Gabriel to New England in 2006, where he caught 25 passes for 344 yards and three touchdowns – including one for 25 yards against the Bengals in a 38-13 victory at Paul Brown Stadium – but the Patriots released him in December of that season. The Raiders reacquired Gabriel on waivers to finish the 2006 campaign but released him last preseason.
He did not play with another team last season. Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis was asked about Gabriel's chances of making the team following Wednesday's OTA workout. Lewis didn't hint that Gabriel's fate would be decided so quickly.
"He's working hard to try to find a spot and we'll see what happens," said Lewis. "He's got some experience because he has in the NFL and that can go a ways in terms of your competition out here right now."
The Bengals have 11 wide receivers on the roster, including six rookies. The team chose Jerome Simpson in the second round, Andre Caldwell in the third round and Mario Urrutia in the seventh round of the NFL Draft in April.