Calling the release of Cincinnati Bengals starting center Kyle Cook a surprise, would be an understatement. It was an unexpected development for a team that doesn't usually release starters midway through their respective deal. Former Cincinnati Bengals center Kyle Cook was especially surprised, considering he had signed a five-year deal in early September, 2011.
"A little surprising with the timing, I thought with two-years left on my contract, barring a major injury, I would have the opportunity to compete in the new offense," said Cook via Fox 19. "But, obviously, Cincinnati didn't have it in their plans long term, be it my overall health or my age, but I still feel like I can play."
Prior to the release, Cook was a $3.4 million cap hit this season. Cincinnati will save $2.1 million against the cap while freeing up $2.7 million in cash commitments (Cook's $2.5 million salary in 2014 and workout bonus of $200,000).
Cincinanti Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander offers departing praise for Cook.
"Kyle has been a great Bengal, a tough guy and an excellent leader. In addition to being a good player, he showed great ability to coordinate things at the line of scrimmage," Alexander said in a news release. "He has been a big help to Andy Dalton as Andy has developed into a veteran player."
Is this a precursor to a towards another move, or the realization that it's time for one veteran to give way to a younger player. Perhaps Mike Pollak holds court. Maybe Trevor Robinson steps in. Or maybe whatever the team has planned just isn't known to us.
"We have some other options available, involving other veterans and some younger guys, and we decided this is the best direction to go," Alexander said via Bengals.com. "I couldn't tell you right now who our No. 1 center will be, but that’s because we do have a few different options that we’re confident will improve us in the end. That’s what the offseason programs and training camp are for, to evaluate those possibilities and come up with the best one."