When the news broke out that the Bengals released starting Safety George Iloka, there was speculation all over social media on why they did that. Lucky for you guys, I have all the answers. Read below to figure out why the Bengals released George Iloka.
There are a lot of reasons why the Bengals cut George Iloka, but when you look at all of them, they come back to one main reason: money
Geno Atkins And Carlos Dunlap
Bengals want to re-sign both Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap. Neither of them are going to be cheap. In cutting George Iloka, the Bengals save $5.3 million in cap room. That’s going to go a long way in re-signing the Bengals star defenders. Now if the Bengals fail to re-sign both, this move could possibly be seen as a failure. A lot of people criticized this move because he was a “reliable starter.” However……
A starter no more
A lot of people thought this move by the Bengals was a mistake because they were cutting a starter. Well, that’s not the case. George Iloka got beat out at strong and free safety. So he would of been the Bengals 3rd safety, and the Bengals didn’t want to pay $5.3 million for a safety who’s not on the field. It was speculated that when the Bengals drafted Jessie Bates, they’d run a 3 safety defense, but that’s clearly not the case. A lot of fans(including myself) thought Iloka was the better strong safety. It’s possible that he is, but Williams fits defensive coordinator Teryl Austin’s new defense better. Austin has emphasized turnovers, and Iloka is no ballhawk. He struggled with turnovers, while Williams is better at it. But odds are that Iloka just got beat out. Iloka has struggled the past 2 years when he has played out of position(he’s a natural strong safety that was playing free safety). However, he has just completely struggled the 1st 2 preseason games. Iloka getting beat out AND him just not fitting into the Bengals defense was a huge part of the decision to release him.
It’s nothing political
There was some speculation that part of the reason to release Iloka, was him tweeting out support for people who kneel. After the whole Eric Reid mess, Bengals owner Mike Brown said he doesn’t want his players kneeling. Well, people are trying to say because Iloka has shown support for the kneeling, that’s part of the reason why Mike Brown and the Bengals cut Iloka. That’s not the case at all. Iloka has never kneeled for the anthem, he’s only stood up just like Mike Brown ordered. So he’s following team rules. It makes no sense to release someone because you don’t like their tweets. Also, after the Eric Reid situation mess, Mike Brown wouldn’t cut him just for that. If Mike Brown released him solely because Iloka tweeted stuff he disagreed about, Mike Brown would get in trouble. So it was nothing political.
It all adds up. Iloka lost his starting role, so he would he would be $5.3 million player on the bench. Bengals need money to re-sign Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap. So they cut the expensive guy who’s on the bench so they can re-sign them. Quite simple.