Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor told reporters on Friday that the team has released defensive tackle Geno Atkins.
Atkins is considered as one of the best defensive players in Bengals history, earning eight Pro Bowl selections and four All-Pro honors. He is part of the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team and leaves Cincinnati as second on the franchise’s sack leaders list with 75.5 quarterback takedowns.
Despite everything Atkins achieved with the organization, the Bengals decided not to be sentimental.
It made sense for Cincinnati to part ways with the 32-year-old star, as the move came with multiple benefits. They opened up $9.5 million in cap space while also getting a roster spot and freeing up snaps for their younger players.
The Bengals were probably also under the influence of Atkins’ poor performances and injury struggles in 2020. He played just 119 snaps in eight games because of shoulder issues and failed to record a single sack for the first time in his career.
While Cincinnati no longer sees value in Geno Atkins, it’s easy to see another team taking a gamble on the veteran. While age is not going in his favor, Atkins could still be a valuable contributor to a team if he manages to stay healthy.
Besides 75.5 sacks next to his name, Atkins also recorded 384 tackles and 117 QB hits during his career. He had three seasons with double-digit sacks and never recorded less than 3 until last season.