Dre Kirkpatrick has had a twisting and turning career with the Bengals. After getting drafted by the team in the first round, he entered the league with plenty of hype. Unfortunately, he seemed to earn a spot in the coaching staff’s dog house, playing sparingly to begin his NFL foray. When he finally broke into the starting lineup, he played the left cornerback spot well.
The front office thought so highly of the former Alabama standout after a rocky start that they gave him a 5 year, $52.5 million contract. However, he may not see the final two years of that deal, with a few indicators potentially spelling an end to his time in Cincinnati.
The Bengals have William Jackson III in the final year of his deal, and he looks primed to command a large contract. In addition, they’ll likely bring back Darqueze Dennard at the position after his great campaign. It looks like the odds are high that the Bengals will take the money allocated for their defensive backs and funnel it to the younger players.
Fans also witnessed Darius Phillips begin to ascend in Lou Anarumo’s scheme to end the 2019 season, giving hope that he may turn into a difference-maker. If the team believes he showed enough to earn a starting spot, they’d surely prefer Phillips on a rookie deal rather than the expensive Kirkpatrick.
Throw in the fact that Kirkpatrick saw a season-ending injury, and it may be the final factor to cause ownership to cut ties.
The front office stands to save over $8 million by moving on from Kirkpatrick, with that money being freed up to spend on other positions of higher need.
Kirkpatrick will surely find a new home, as he’s a good corner with plenty left in the tank.