The Cincinnati Bengals selected Sawyer in the fourth round (104th pick overall) of the 1994 NFL Draft, and he played for the Bengals from 1994 to 1998. He played in 60 regular season games for the Bengals, mostly as a backup at cornerback, but also as a punt and kickoff returner. In his five seasons in Cincinnati, he returned 54 punts for 507 yards and a touchdown, and 15 kickoffs for 305 yards. As a defensive back, he compiled 163 tackles and 11 interceptions for 163 return yards and a touchdown. He also played one NFL season as a backup for the New York Jets in 1999.