Bengals release Trae Waynes

Denver Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick (81) pulls in a touchdown pass as Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Trae Waynes defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

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Denver Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick (81) pulls in a touchdown pass as Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Trae Waynes defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Two days after re-signing cornerback Eli Apple and spending some money to bolster the offensive line, the Cincinnati Bengals released Trae Waynes.

The Bengals also re-signed wide receiver Trenton Irwin to a one-year contract Monday.

Waynes came to Cincinnati as a free agent from Minnesota in the offseason ahead of the 2020 campaign but missed all of that season with a pectoral injury suffered in training camp. He again was limited by injury to start the 2021 season but even when he returned he was relegated to a bench role. Waynes played five regular-season games with four starts and saw limited action in four playoff games.

By releasing him, the Bengals save about $10 million in cap space and they can target that position in the draft if need be.

Waynes, an eighth-year player, ultimately made $31 million playing just 243 snaps for the Bengals. Cincinnati returns Chidobe Awuzie and Apple as potential starting outside cornerbacks.

Irwin, a second-year player out of Stanford University, originally was a college free agent signee of the Dolphins in 2019. He joined the Bengals midway through that season and has since played in nine games, making three catches for 39 years and three punt returns for 31 yards.

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