The exodus of starters from last year’s disappointing Bengals squad continues, as today Cincinnati released longtime starting safety George Iloka. The move opens the door for them to start promising rookie safety Jesse Bates, whom they drafted in the second round out of Wake Forest earlier this year.
A stunner: The #Bengals are releasing starting safety George Iloka, per @MikeGarafolo and me. He’s started every game he’s played in since 2013. Purely a financial decision, but a 28-year-old safety hitting the market at this point is good news for interested teams.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 19, 2018
Iloka had been a starting safety for the Bengals since 2013, under Mike Zimmer and current Raiders DC Paul Guenther. But he was miscast in new Bengals DC Teryl Austin’s scheme, and was jettisoned today in favor of the rookie. He said goodbye to his team via Twitter this morning.
Thankful for the opportunity Cincinnati. To my former teammates, best of luck and stay healthy, you guys have something special brewing there.— George Iloka (@George_iloka) August 19, 2018
This offseason has been brutal for NFL safeties looking for work. Today’s NFL GMs don’t seem to value the safety position much, preferring to invest their money in corners and edge rushers (a safety’s job is to hit people, and that is no longer allowed in football). Iloka’s cap hit was north of $6M, and that’s just too steep a price in today’s NFL.
Iloka would make sense for the Raiders in the sense that he knows Paul Guenther’s system and would be a plug-and-play guy if the injury to Marcus Gilchrist is more severe than we know, but I doubt there are any NFL teams who will want Iloka with his cap number what it is, and will likely wait for him to clear waivers and negotiate a new contract at a far more reasonable number.
So what do you think, Raider Nation? Should the Raiders take a look at George Iloka?
Should the Raiders try to sign George Iloka?
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