Veteran safety George Iloka released by Cincinnati Bengals

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Veteran safety George Iloka released by Cincinnati Bengals Veteran safety George Iloka released by Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals waived starting safety George Iloka on Sunday in a move that clears $5.3 million in salary cap space this year for a team that reportedly said it overspent in free agency.

Iloka was in his seventh year with the Bengals out of Boise State. He signed a five-year, $30 million contract in 2016.

Since the end of last year, especially after the arrival of new defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, Iloka reportedly has not been part of the Bengals’ plans.

Austin and the front office have pointed out Iloka had only one interception last year.

The team heavily pursued free-agent safety Kurt Coleman in February, only to see him sign a contract with the New Orleans Saints. Later in the offseason, the team brought in safety Eric Reid. The move backfired when Reid’s kneeling during the national anthem while with the San Francisco 49ers was discussed.

The Bengals used a second-round draft pick on Wake Forest safety Jessie Bates III, who has consistently worked with the starting group throughout the offseason and training camp.

Iloka finished his Bengals career having played 83 games — starting 76 of them — while grabbing nine interceptions with 32 passes defensed.





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