The Cincinnati Bengals have reportedly made a shocking roster move a couple of weeks before the start of the 2018 season. The NFL Network is reporting that George Iloka is being released. Iloka, a 28-year-old defensive back, has started every game he’s played in since the 2013 season. The former Boise State star was a fifth-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. He’s spent his entire career in Cincinnati.
Iloka has been one of the more consistent safeties in the league over the past few years and while his play has not been as stellar as it was when he played across from safety Reggie Nelson this is still a shocking move.
The most disturbing thing here is the reports that it is strictly a financial move, this must cause Bengals fans to question Mike Brown’s commitment to winning?. Rookie Jessie Bates will now see a lot more playing time alongside Shawn Williams. The problem I see with this move is that it causes a problem with depth and leadership on the defensive side of the ball, sure the Bengals have some promising young players at safety, but Iloka will be hard to replace. My other question would be, did the Bengals try to trade Iloka and get anything for him? You can’t tell me no team was willing to give up a draft pick for Iloka?
The NFL Networks Mike Garafolo reported that Iloka was due $5.3 million in salary and bonuses this season. Hopefully, the Bengals know what they are doing, but I would not hold my breath as this is one of the reasons the Bengals have not won a playoff game since the 1990 season.
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