It came as a bit of a surprise when the Bengals released Mike Pollak this offseason.
Pollak, who in 2014 completed his seventh season in the NFL, was a quality backup for two years in Cincinnati. He played 22 regular season games and started 11. Pro Football Focus rated Pollak as the team's fifth-best offensive player in 2014 and the fourth-best offensive lineman.
However, a lingering knee issue and no reported interest in free agency may lead to Pollak hanging up his cleats.
Pollak played 14 games in 2014, starting four games for the injured Kevin Zeitler and another two for Clint Boling, who replaced Andre Smith at right tackle. However, Pollak appeared on the Bengals' injury report with a knee injury for most of the year. He typically practiced one or two times per week and didn't even appear on the team's injury report in Week 17 or the Wild Card game against the Colts..
Prior to the 2014 season, Pollak signed a three-year deal worth $4.8 million, including a $500,000 signing bonus and $1 million guaranteed. Cutting Pollak saved Cincinnati a little over $1 million against the 2015 salary cap. It made it easier for Cincinnati to cut him with promising guard TJ Johnson and Trey Hopkins developing behind Pollak. Those two will likely be the backup guards with Pollak now gone.
Still, Pollak was a quality contributor for a Bengals offensive line that was among the best in football during the past two years. If this is the end of Pollak's NFL career, congratulations to the former Bengal on a successful football run.