A weekend in Cincinnati was long enough for UB's Joe Licata to turn a tryout into a contract. The former Buffalo Bulls Quarterback displaced Matt Johnson as the fourth Bengal in camp. Licata becomes the thrid member of this past season's class to sign an NFL contract along with tight end Matt Weiser (San Diego Chargers) and lineman John Kling (Chicago Bears)
NEWS: #Bengals sign rookie QB Joe Licata (Buffalo) and waive rookie QB Matt Johnson (Bowling Green)— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) May 16, 2016
Licata's numbers at Buffalo eclipsed those of all quarterbacks who came before him, including Drew Willy who now starts for the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Despite a record setting career the Western New York native went undrafted and did not get a free agent offer following the draft. He spent a weekend with the Bills trying to make their 90 man roster but Buffalo stuck with three quarterbacks.
The Bengals had three established Quarterbacks coming into this season. The Bengals starter is likely going to be Andy Dalton and behind him is AJ McCarron. Last year's practice squad QB Keith Wenning is also in the mix. They added Bowling Green's Matt Johnson after the draft to make that number four.
Then, once the Bills fell through, the Benglas brought Licata in for a look.
What made Licata so effective for the Buffalo Bulls was his football IQ and composure in the pocket. Not physically the most gifted Quarterback in the Mid American Conference, he put up numbers to rival the leagues top players because of his anticipation of a play.
He will need to lean on his smarts and work very hard to overtake Keith Wenning as a potential practice squad project.
"If I get to play in the NFL, I don't consider it work," he said. "It's not a job to me. I'd gladly go in at 6 in the morning and watch film and then stay there until 10 at night."
Follow Joe Licata's progress in our weekly NFL rundowns and on Cincy Jungle.