The Cincinnati Bengals surprisingly decided to release their starting Free Safety, George Iloka, not even 24 hours after they defeated the Dallas Cowboys 21-13 in Week 2 of the preseason.
A stunner: The #Bengals are releasing starting safety George Iloka, per @MikeGarafolo and me. He’s started every game he’s played in since 2013. Purely a financial decision, but a 28-year-old safety hitting the market at this point is good news for interested teams.
This is somewhat fortuitous for the Dallas Cowboys, who saw their starting Free Safety, Xavier Woods, sustain a hamstring injury against the Bengals Saturday night. With Woods currently nursing a hamstring injury and with the lack of depth at the position, George Iloka could be too enticing for the Cowboys to pass up.
At just 28 years old, George Iloka leaves the Bengals with 230 tackles, 32 pass deflections, and nine interceptions. These are numbers the Cowboys would and should want to add to their secondary. It would not only upgrade the backend of their defense, but provide valuable depth.
George Iloka is a Texas native who was born in the Houston area and graduated from Kempner High School in Sugarland, Texas. After high school, he took his talents to Boise State. Yes, the same college the Dallas Cowboys like to collect players from (Orlando Scandrick, DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford, Kellen Moore, Cedrick Wilson, and Leighton Vander Esch).
For me, it looks like all of the pieces are lining up perfectly to unite George Iloka with the Cowboys. Unfortunately, like always, it’s going to come down to money.
Like Rapoport mentioned in his tweet, the Bengals decision to release Iloka was a financial one. He was set to make $6.2 million in 2018 and $6.6 million over the final two remaining years of his contract. Probably not numbers the Cowboys would be willing to match, but they might not have to.
Iloka may not be looking for a long-term contract right now. He could be looking for a one or two year deal, that way at age 30, he could hit the open market once again and try to cash in one last time. With $14.6 million in cap space, the Cowboys could easily offer him a contract that mutually benefits both parties.
George Iloka may not be the veteran safety Dallas Cowboys fans have been hankering for the majority of the 2018 offseason, but he is younger, cheaper, and more durable than Earl Thomas. Make sense, right?