Bengals release two-time All-Pro DT Geno Atkins

The Bengals released defensive tackle Geno Atkins, head coach Zac Taylor announced. Atkins was due $12.2M in non-guaranteed money, so the Bengals took the opportunity to wipe that from the books. In addition, the Bengals are also cutting quarterback Ryan Finley and offensive tackle Bobby Hart (Twitter link via’s Ian Rapoport). All together, the moves will save the Bengals roughly $30M in cap space.

Atkins fought through a shoulder injury throughout the season. Towards the end, it proved to be too much to play with. He suited up for just eight games in total, and even when he was healthy, he wasn’t happy about his playing time. His final tally: zero sacks and zero starts. It was a sharp drop from his pre-extension season in 2017, when he finished out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 2-ranked interior defender. The Bengals could have had the perennial Pro Bowler under contract through 2022, but his $14.8M cap hit for 2021 was too much.

Last year, he watched his longtime counterpart Carlos Dunlap — the No. 1 all-time Bengals sack leader — get shipped to the Seahawks. It’s now the soon-to-be 33-year-old’s turn to exit. He leaves with eight Pro Bowls to his credit and the second-highest sack total in franchise history.

Hart, whose release will yield ~$6M in savings, was long rumored to be a cap casualty. With Riley Reiff in the mix, his services were no longer needed.

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