Bengals release veteran receiver Brandon LaFell

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The Cincinnati Bengals granted receiver Brandon LaFell his release.

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo first reported Thursday morning that the team would cut the veteran, per his wishes.

"We have been lobbying for his release for some time now and appreciate the Bengals granting our request," LaFell's agent Jonathan Feinsod said.

LaFell spent the past two seasons as the No. 2 receiver in Cincinnati, compiling 1,410 yards on 96 receptions with nine total touchdowns.

The 31-year-old entered training camp battling for playing time with several younger receivers. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis noted this week LaFell was "feeling the heat" from other wideouts.

"Brandon LaFell has done a nice job. He feels the heat," Lewis said, via ESPN. "...That's a competitive group of wide receivers. So we can only keep so many of them. They're going to be competitive that way and that's a good thing."

John Ross, the team's 2017 first-round pick, has been the talk of Bengals training camp. The speedster, who was compared to Marvin Harrison by director of player personnel Duke Tobin last preseason, is finally healthy and looks to take over the No. 2 duties alongside A.J. Green.

The Bengals boast several other young wideouts pushing for playing time, including Tyler Boyd, Josh Malone, Cody Core, rookie Auden Tate, and Alex Erickson, among others.

Cutting ties with LaFell at this stage allows the youngsters more practice time and reps during preseason games as the Bengals reconfigure their depth chart.

LaFell, who previously spent two seasons with the New England Patriots and four with the Carolina Panthers, will be free to sign elsewhere once the transaction goes through Thursday. With the Patriots currently looking for depth at receiver, a return to Foxborough could be one option for the veteran.

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