Just days after signing Darius Hillary, the team waived him on Thursday. It’s unclear why the team signed and waived him so quickly, but he wasn’t making the 53-man roster either way.
So on Tuesday, the team signed free agent cornerback Darius Hillary. This isn’t the first time Hillary has been with the Bengals, as he signed with the team as an undrafted free agent out of Wisconsin following the 2016 NFL Draft.
Since then, Hillary has spent time on the practice squads of Cincinnati, Washington and Oakland. He was actually briefly on Cleveland’s 53-man roster during the 2016 and 2017 seasons. He spent this offseason with Washington, though he was waived by them on Sunday.
While Hillary was one of the better Big Ten corners during his college career, in three years of seeing defensive action, he registered only one interception. Another thing going against Hillary is his small frame at just 5’10” and 183 pounds.
Darius’ father, Ira Hillary, played for the Bengals from 1987-1989 as a wide receiver and defensive back. Ira was also part of the last Super Bowl team the Bengals had. That relationship and seeing many undrafted players go to Cincinnati and make the final roster helped make picking the Bengals an easy call for Hillary after that 2016 draft, even though it hasn’t quite worked out for him just yet.
Hillary is a Cincinnati native by way of Sycamore High School. He’s probably joining the Bengals too late to make a run at the 53-man roster, but he’ll be a candidate for a spot on the practice squad.