Report: Bengals releasing George Iloka

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The Bengals are reportedly parting ways with a five-year starter in their secondary.

NFL Media reports that the team will release safety George Iloka.

Iloka, a 2012 fifth-round pick, has started all 76 games he’s played over the last five seasons for the Bengals and has started every game the team has played over the last two seasons. He had 80 tackles and an interception for Cincinnati last year.

Per the report, the move was a financial decision. Iloka was due $5.3 million in base salary and roster bonuses this year with a cap hit of $6.2 million. The team will get $4.4 million of that cap space back once Iloka is officially off the books.

Given the timing of the move and the pace of the safety market, Iloka’s unlikely to see that kind of money from another team. With Week One rapidly approaching, it remains to be seen if he’ll secure a new home at any price before the start of the season.

The Bengals drafted Jessie Bates in the second round this year. He joins Shawn Williams, Clayton Fejedelem and Brandon Wilson at safety.

56 responses to “Report: Bengals releasing George Iloka

  1. Not sure if I like this. I think Shawn Williams is not as good as Iloka. Unless they’re really high on Bates I don’t think this makes them any better. He’ll get picked up somewhere he’s a solid starter. Thanks for your time in Cincinnati and best of luck.

  2. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Zimmer make a run at him as they had interest a couple seasons ago when he would have been a free agent, and Zim has history with him.

  3. The Vikings tried to sign him a couple years ago before he resigned with the Bengals. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be surprised if he signed a one year deal with the Vikings given that he’s familiar with the defense and Zimmer has had interest in him in the past. Hopefully, the rich don’t get richer.

  4. He will sign in Oakland and replace Nelson in all probability.

    Guenther is there now and he is DEFINITELY a Guenther guy.

  5. As long Reggie can afford him and needs him. I think Nelson, who played with Iloka in Cincy, would be a goo dmatch and rotating in Joseph and those 2 with Marcus Gilchrist wil be great. Shalom Luani to PS.

  6. Yeah, he’ll be with Zimmer in Minnesota or with Geunther and the Raiders by the time the third week of preseason games kick off.

  7. firstdownbrowns says:
    August 19, 2018 at 2:08 pm
    running a team on a shoe string . the Brown family tight with the dollar.

    ——

    Cool story Bro, but you’re wrong. Bengals are top 7 or 8 in salary for 2018. This money will undoubtedly go toward extending Geno and/or Carlos.

    Side note. If they Bengals let the kicker Brown leave, they’re idiots. Dude has a monster leg, and has been money.

  8. Why release now for cap reasons? Didn’t they know months ago that this move needed to be made? Suck that he gets released after most teams have set their rosters.

  9. The Bengals making money and money only as the driver of the team is the reason I dropped my season tickets 10 years ago…yeah, I will still what when I can, but if I have other things going on so be it…the last 10 years on sundays have been so much better than the 12 years prior to that

  10. “Why release now for cap reasons?
    Didn’t they know months ago that this move needed to be made?”
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    If the cheap brown family does it now… they have the excuse
    that it’s too late to use the money for a better player.

    So… the money goes straight into the brown family bank account…
    … and… ONCE AGAIN… Marvin Lewis has a thinner, weaker team (for less money).

    We all know the brown family has terrible “journalist” katherine terrell in their pocket.
    terrell won’t say anything negative about the brown family.

    So… another season to blame it on Marvin and Andy.
    They are paid so well to unfairly and quietly take all the blame.

  11. I don’t believe it until it happens. There are other players that make more sense to find savings and are less productive.

  12. I like George Iloka.

    Quietly works hard, doesn’t get into trouble, and good in the locker room.

    THAT SAID: Iloka isn’t playing at $5,600,000 level (… or… a $6,200,000 level).

    THAT THAT SAID: Isn’t the game about winning?!?
    If you can’t afford paying better players… SELL THE TEAM.
    (A new owner would move the team – I’m pretty much done… so… I don’t much care).

  13. Hate to see this. But, just means the young guys are impressing the coordinator and coach. These guys know how to coach young talent.

  14. I’d like to see the Vikings take a run at him. I have a hard time believing Sandejo will play 16 games this year. His style of play opens him up to injuries and (if we’re being honest) suspensions from the league

  15. This was all about money (not surprising because of their owner). Iloka had salaries of $4.8M, $5.2M and $5.2M the next three years. Add in his roster bonuses and workout bonuses and those swelled to $6.2M, $6.6M and $6.6M.

    Is he good enough to make the 53-man roster. He probably is but not with that contract.

  16. palsgraf21 says:
    August 19, 2018 at 2:48 pm
    Why release now for cap reasons? Didn’t they know months ago that this move needed to be made? Suck that he gets released after most teams have set their rosters.
    —-
    Two guesses:
    – First, Geno and Carlos are looking for more money than they thought they would and they didn’t budget accordingly
    – Second (and most probable), they wanted to see how the other guys, especially rookie Jesse Bates, performed in the first two preseason games to make sure they weren’t leaving a massive hole in the secondary

    I’l also add that with the safety market being what it is, they didn’t think they could trade him (and his contract), and they likely think that there will be quality free agents out there if injuries hit the guys on the roster

  17. With his old DC Guenther in Oakland, it’s an automatic appointment in Oakland tomorrow morning. Gruden loves deals like this.

  18. BobbyHanks63 says:
    August 19, 2018 at 2:45 pm
    Belichick loves safeties, that’s a fact and all I’m gonna say today.

    =============

    Belichick has safeties, thats another fact.

    Belichick needs CB depth not more safeties.

  19. Vikes don’t need him. Smith is the best safety in football and I also believe sendajo is better then Iloka. We already have serviceable back ups and we have more important things to worry about besides a safety.

  20. jacktatum32 says:
    August 19, 2018 at 2:47 pm
    Mike Brown views any money paid to a player as his personal money….any money saved goes for gas and repairs on his 1989 Chevrolet Malibu

    —————-

    Hey now, I drive an 88 Accord. Only 40K miles though. Have other cars, it’s my ‘wally world/shopping/parking lot car.

    PS: It is quite amazing how I get looked at when I get out of my 55K car vs. when I drive ‘the never been washed’ 88 Accord. People are beyond judgmental. I find it humorous.

  21. The Pats have the best 3 man rotation @safety in the NFL. I also like their CBs. Gilmour makes the Pro Bowl this year. The front 7 is the issue, but the pass rush against the Eagles last week, as well as Hightower and Bentley is cool

  22. > PS: It is quite amazing how I get looked at when I get out of my 55K car vs. when I drive ‘the never been washed’ 88 Accord. People are beyond judgmental. I find it humorous.

    What’s funny is that you think having a $55k car means something… I find it more telling that despite being “frugal” as you have pointed out, doesn’t mean you have to treat your 88 Accord like a piece of trash. Wash it. It’s yours, respect it… apparently it hasn’t treated you wrong, why not keep it clean. Guess I was raised differently.

    Of course, you should see the looks I get when I step out of my $328k McLaren seeing as I’m a tatted up Mexican.

  23. “Wouldn’t be surprised to see Zimmer make a run at him as they had interest a couple seasons ago when he would have been a free agent, and Zim has history with him.”

    ——-

    Minnesota’s pretty decent at safety right now, and Iloka’s skillset overlaps a bit with the things that Smith does in the secondary. Iloka’s good, but if he goes to Minnesota, he probably won’t start, and he’s still a quality starter in the league. The short amount of time to learn a defense, like you said, has a chance to push him that way, I just don’t see a starting spot on the team for him. He might end up there, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

    Dallas is intriguing, but I think Seattle is a decent bet too. Dallas is comfortable with Heath at SS-it’s at FS that they need most help, but they’ve appeared to be confident in their roster. Even though Seattle’s defense is a bit different than Cincy’s, I would wager they’d make him an offer. McDougald filled in for Chancellor at SS, but I think they prefer him at FS. Iloka, like Chancellor, is a big SS with good instincts. He has the size to work in the trenches and the flat covering backs the way that Chancellor did. The Colts are also a very intriguing option, considering their recent defensive switch and their lack of a starting SS and vet experience overall.

    Other than that, SS is kind of a flat market right now. But Iloka is better than Reid, Boston, or Vaccaro, so if he had been released earlier, he could have found a team (for example, the Titans when they had their cattle call). There’s just not that many teams who are willing to pay a veteran starter who will have to learn the defense so quickly. Of all the teams who run at least a 4-3 base defense, there are only a few in need of a SS; namely Seattle, Indianapolis, possibly Detroit (especially if they stay with their 4-2-5 so much of the time) or the Chargers or Tampa, maybe a handful of others. Iloka will be signed, it’ll just likely be for less and for a shorter amount of time.

  24. ^^^I also forgot to mention Oakland with former Cincy DC Paul Guenther as a possible destination, if nothing else than because the short time to learn the playbook. However, Karl Joseph’s presence as a prototypical SS makes the move much less likely.

  25. Ball skills are not as strong as they could be, goes for the hit instead of the ball…..wouldn’t be a bad thing if he would wrap up and tackle…..good move by the Bengals…….Shawn Williams can do the same things at a lower cost.

  26. As a Bengals fan I love this move, this guy is average at best… You’re next Shawn Williams, clean all the crap out of that defensive backfield while you’re at it. I still hope we sign a safety to replace him because we’ll need somebody else to lean on assuming Jessie Bates has rookie growing pains. If the Bengals are depending on Shawn Williams to be leader they will be sadly disappointed. He’s a punk and so was Illoka, good riddance.

  27. The big hard hitting safety market is dead. With the new helmet rules n effect, Iloka was more a liability than his salary deemed. They probably gave him a last audition last night for a possible trade, threre is just no market for big hitting safeties now with the new rules. Bates will be starting opposite Williams. I thought Iloka looked hesitant when playing in the box last night too and he hasn’t bowled me over since he got his raise. Also we have two premiere defensive players we are trying to extend and need the extra cap space. Bates is going to be a real good player and essentially made George expendable. Sad to see him go and I appreciate his time and sacrifice he made.

  28. tedmurph says:
    August 19, 2018 at 5:17 pm
    The Pats have the best 3 man rotation @safety in the NFL. I also like their CBs.
    (= (= (= (= (=
    You mean the safeties and CBs that made Nick Foles Superbowl MVP? Please leave the trolling to tylawspick6.

  29. JustBlameTrumpOrRussia says:
    August 19, 2018 at 6:53 pm
    tedmurph says:
    August 19, 2018 at 5:17 pm
    The Pats have the best 3 man rotation @safety in the NFL. I also like their CBs.
    (= (= (= (= (=
    You mean the safeties and CBs that made Nick Foles Superbowl MVP? Please leave the trolling to tylawspick6.

    ———————-
    No he is right. The starters are quite good. What cost them last year was depth. After a few injuries he did not have enough quality players left to cover tha backfield.

    That is true again this year too though. The starters look great, but a few injuries and its not going to look good. We could see that in the second half last week. Belichick seems to know that and appears to be looking hard for those depth players.

  30. Hopefully he goes somewhere because he’s a good player and a nice guy too.
    I guess sometimes the business side of Football can suck big time for us fans

  31. JustBlameTrumpOrRussia says:
    August 19, 2018 at 6:53 pm
    tedmurph says:
    August 19, 2018 at 5:17 pm
    The Pats have the best 3 man rotation @safety in the NFL. I also like their CBs.
    (= (= (= (= (=
    You mean the safeties and CBs that made Nick Foles Superbowl MVP? Please leave the trolling to tylawspick6.

    10 1 Rate This

    ——————-

    I don’t think a team decimated by injury that had the #1 D and a sb ring from 2016 is the same as a healthy group of players.

    NE has the best safety and lb group in the conference. Period.

    You and others are in for a very rude awakening in 2018.

  32. What did Iloka do well, cover tight ends …nope Cause or make turnovers..Nope Tackle well… Nope. Bengals seem to hold on to some guys way too long…aka Michael Johnson…Pacman Jones… And my favorite .. A guy living a gym teachers dream, A guy with a giant heart, the undersized and slow Vinnie Ray. The smallest 6 foot man on the planet

  33. “NE has the best safety and lb group in the conference. Period.”

    They’re not even the best in their cupcake division. But glad you took the time to stop by and share some jokes with us.

  34. And my favorite .. A guy living a gym teachers dream, A guy with a giant heart, the undersized and slow Vinnie Ray. The smallest 6 foot man on the planet

    This comment is spot on. Vinny Rey is the single worst starting linebacker in the NFL and it’s not even close.

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