The Bengals have released veteran safety George Iloka, the team announced Sunday. A league source said Iloka was amazed by the move, which he was told was for financial reasons.
Iloka, a 2012 fifth-round pick out of Boise State, has been the Bengals’ starting safety since 2013 and had three seasons remaining on his contract.
Iloka addressed his release in a tweet Sunday, saying, “Thankful for the opportunity Cincinnati. To my former teammates, best of luck and stay healthy, you guys have something special brewing there.”
Set to count $6.2 million against the salary cap this season, the Bengals will save $5.6 million against the cap with the move because Iloka was released after June 1.
After last season, it became evident that the team would like to keep its options open. A team source said the Bengals were not pleased with Iloka’s play in 2017, and they went hard after free agent Kurt Coleman when the Carolina Panthers released him on February 26th.
The Bengals met with Coleman and his representatives at the NFL scouting combine that week and made him a competitive offer, as noted by ESPN.
When Coleman ultimately signed with the New Orleans Saints, it seemed possible that the Bengals were content to stick with Iloka for another season.
“However, it was not a good sign for Iloka when the Bengals drafted free-agent safety Jessie Bates out of Wake Forest in the second round this year”,
This is the third significant veteran the Bengals have parted ways with this year, including cornerback Adam Jones and wide receiver Brandon LaFell.