As expected, the Cincinnati Bengals will not be retaining defensive end Wallace Gilberry.
After showing no interest in re-signing the veteran pass-rusher, Gilberry is signing with the Detroit Lions, per his agency.
Cincinnati --> Detroit. DE @Gilberry92 is signing with the @Lions. Congrats, Wallace! pic.twitter.com/QCdg6kZXVv— SportsTrust Advisors (@_SportsTrust) April 4, 2016
Former #Bengals DE @Gilberry92 signed a 1-year deal with the #Lions, per @_SportsTrust. I'm told it's worth up to $1.75M.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 4, 2016
Wallace Gilberry Lions deal: $1.25M, $885,000 salary, $340,000 signing bonus, $25,000 workout bonus, $500,000 incentive— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) April 6, 2016
An eighth-year veteran out of Alabama, Gilberry joined the Bengals midway through the 2012 NFL season after being cut that year by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In 14 games, Gilberry would become an impact player on the Bengals defensive line while racking up 6.5 sacks and 24 tackles in his first season with the team. He helped the Bengals finish with the sixth-ranked defense in terms of yards allowed before re-signing with the team the next offseason.
Gilberry went on to record 7.5 sacks and 24 tackles across 16 games (2 starts) in 2013 while helping Cincinnati finish third overall in total defense. By this time, Gilberry was doing most of his damage as a situational pass-rusher who also would line up at defensive tackle on passing downs.
That role faded away when Michael Johnson left in 2014, forcing Gilberry into a starting role in which he mightily struggled. In 16 starts that year, Gilberry had just 1.5 sacks and 48 tackles as the Bengals finished 22nd in total defense.
Once Johnson re-joined the Bengals in 2015, the Gilberry went back to his old role, but was unable to reclaim that magic of 2012-13. In 16 games (1 start) this past season, Gilberry had just two sacks and 23 tackles while struggling to generate pressure via the pass rush.
That probably shouldn't come as a big surprise given his 31-year-old body has clearly worn down over the past two seasons. With younger options in Margus Hunt, Will Clarke and Marcus Hardison on the roster behind Dunlap and Johnson, there was really no room for Gilberry here as Cincinnati showed no interest in bringing him back.
Good luck to Wallace as he looks to finish off his professional career on a higher note in Detroit.