The Cincinnati Bengals are cutting defensive tackle Devon Still, according to Pro Football Talk. Paul Dehner Jr. has since confirmed the news.
Can confirm Devon Still cut. Reminder, Still no longer has practice squad eligibility. He'll need to latch onto another 53. #Bengals— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) September 5, 2015
Still was not expected to make the team's final 53-man roster, though not because he didn't have a good preseason, because his position is so loaded with other talented players. Still actually finished the preseason with a solid 1.3 Pro Football Focus Grade. Just this week, Still expressed confidence he has earned his spot on the 53-man roster however, with starters Geno Atkins and Domata Peko not going anywhere and Brandon Thompson also having secured a spot, that final tackle spot likely came down to Still, undrafted free agent DeShawn Williams, veteran Pat Sims. Williams had a great preseason, and Sims has already made a significant impact with the Bengals when he was with them from 2008-12.
"I don’t think about the negative," Still said this week, prior to being cut. "You think negative, negative things are going to happen. I feel like I’ve put good enough tape out there that I have a good chance of making this ball club."
Per Cincinnati.com, earlier this week, Still also expressed his gratitude for the Bengals' organization:
"First of all, they drafted me and gave me the opportunity to be in the NFL. Second of all they did everything they could to help me save my daughter's life and to raise awareness for pediatric cancer. There's nothing that can break that bond, can break that relationship, because my daughter is more important than this game any day. They stepped up and helped me take care of my daughter. There's nothing that can break that."
Still has been the most well-known Bengals player over the past year as he's tried to balance playing NFL football while remaining by his daughter's side as she battled Neuroblastoma, a form of pediatric cancer, from which she is now in remission. Their battle has helped raise cancer awareness while many around the NFL have poured out support for Devon and Leah. Last year, heading into camp, Leah's diagnosis was still fresh on her dad's mind. In June 2014, Devon Still revealed via Instagram that Leah had been diagnosed with cancer and given a 50 percent chance to live.
Amazingly, she's managed to stave off her disease and keep living her life to the fullest since. Also, because the Bengals kept Still on the team last year, he and Leah now have five years of NFL health insurance, regardless of his current NFL status.
A former second-round pick out of Penn State in the 2012 NFL draft, Still spent most of his career in Cincinnati dealing with a collection of injuries while facing a lot of competition at his position. He was out for the second half of 2012 when the defensive line was recovering from other injuries. During the middle of the 2013 season, he missed four games with a dislocated elbow and was placed on Injured Reserve on Dec 18, 2013 with a herniated disc.
Now classified a fourth-year player, Still played two seasons with the team before being cut in August of last year, prior to the start of the season. The following day, the Bengals re-signed Still to the practice squad with the intention to help him pay for his daughter's cancer treatment.
As a member of the practice squad, Still did not have to travel with the team on road trips, but was still given access to the NFL's elite benefits package, which assists in caring for Leah. On September 10, it was announced that Still was being moved to active status. In the game that followed, Still notched three tackles against the Atlanta Falcons. He finished the year with 19 total tackles.
Still does not have practice squad eligibility left, meaning another team has to sign him to their 53-man roster for him remain with an NFL club this year. We wish nothing but the best to the Still family.
Check back here throughout the day for more Bengals roster moves.