Bengals that could be on their way out: Defensive tackle Geno Atkins
It’s difficult to imagine the Bengals running out of the tunnels of Paul Brown Stadium and Geno Atkins not being among them. The dominant defensive tackle has been terrorizing quarterbacks for the past 11 years, racking up 75.5 sacks, 172 quarterback hits, 384 tackles, and numerous accolades along the way.
However, if reports from the Enquirer’s Tyler Dragon are to be believed, there’s a real chance Atkins and the Bengals will part ways this offseason.
On paper, it makes sense that Atkins’ career in Cincinnati comes to a close. A shoulder injury has prevented him from playing up to his whopping $14.2M cap hit. By moving on, the front office would gain nearly $10M in cap space to build for the future, rather than hoping the nearly 33-year-old can return to his previous form.
All of that aside though, it’s going to be a difficult decision to move on from a player and person the caliber of Atkins. Not only has he performed at the highest level on the field, but he’s done plenty off of it as well.
From his ‘Atkins week of giving’ (an event centered around helping those in need around the holidays), to his donations to food banks, to many more events, he’s truly been a role model in the community.
When all is said and done, Atkins will go down as the greatest Bengals defensive player of all time and will almost assuredly be inducted into the Hall of Fame. If Sunday truly is his last game in stripes, I think I speak for every fan of the Bengals when I say it’s been an honor following his career.