The Cincinnati Bengals have made a shocking move ahead of the start of NFL free agency, as they've released starting center Kyle Cook. This, according to Cook's Facebook page (because Twitter decided to crash).
His message read:
Thank you Cincinnati for the memories..... Looking forward to our next opportunity.. Thank you everyone for the support throughout these past seven years, we have made many friends and tons of great memories...
It's only shocking in that there was no talk of this happening, but when you look at Cook's production vs. his performance it makes sense. He's routinely been ranked among the NFL's worst starting centers over the past three seasons by Pro Football Focus.
While the Bengals seemed comfortable with Cook's ability as their starting center, they also have Trevor Robinson and T.J. Johnson who are listed as backup centers. Pollak could play the position.
A former college free agent, he had started 50 consecutive Bengals games through the end of 2011. He initially joined Bengals as a practice squad player in his rookie season of 2007, after being waived by the Minnesota Vikings.
His career with the Bengals really went downhill in 2012. Cook started first three preseason games, but suffered ankle injury Aug. 23 vs. Green Bay. He missed the first 12 games before finally reclaiming his starting spot. cook would go on to start the final three games, including the Wild Card loss to the Houston Texans.
While he was hurt, Trevor Robinson filled in admirably for him as an undrafted free agent. One would think he'd probably enter the 2014 season as the starting center, but not so fast:
With Cook cut, that puts Pollak as leader in clubhouse@Bengals C— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) March 11, 2014
While Cook may have not been one of the best centers in the league, he came to the Bengals during a chaotic time, only to end up helping lead an offensive line that paved the way for four playoff berths over a 5-year span.