The Bengals finally released cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick on Tuesday. To say he was a polarizing players puts it sort of nicely.
Kirkpatrick often found himself the target of plenty of criticism from fans over the past few seasons, but he was also been one of the team’s most reliable veteran leaders. We’ll be looking at the good and the bad from the twitter reactions to Kirkpatrick’s release.
Starting with the good
One of the big things many fans should remember about Kirkpatrick is he stood tall for this team at all times. He was a vocal leader who would stand there and answer questions win or lose. He also wasn’t afraid to pass along his knowledge to the younger players. It also should be noted that maybe he wasn’t as bad as many fans wanted to make it seem.
Let me say this about Dre Kirkpatrick. He took a lot of heat, but was better than most gave him credit.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) March 31, 2020
He’s not winning any tackling awards but as a cover corner (what really matters) he has held his own at a starter level.
It’s a matter of age/$ not making sense anymore.
Sum up Dre Kirkpatrick's career with the Bengals in one play: https://t.co/OykR0xNttq— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) March 31, 2020
Man this one hurts, I know it’s a business but Dre has treated me like family for quite some time. I wish him nothing but the best I will root for him wherever he goes, as long as it’s not shittsburgh. Much love @DreKirkSWAG https://t.co/5t0hder1aO— shawn moore (@whodeybaby) March 31, 2020
This. Dre actually called him by his name. Twitter, it's poss for fans to cheer on a team, love a player, be upset when he's gone, and still hope for the team's success, even if it goes against analytics.— Captain Obvious (@BengalsCaptain) March 31, 2020
We're fans, some in diff ways. Experiences like this vid are priceless. https://t.co/FSgCf27oFw
So, it's wasn't Zeitler OR Kirkpatrick in their eyes. They paid Kirkpatrick half of what Zeitler got. I know the cap hit is what people look at, but that's not how I see it. Kirkpatrick had one of the cheapest contracts in terms of guaranteed money.— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) March 31, 2020
Dre Kirkpatrick suffered through injuries early on and spent his first 2 years as a first round punt gunner. Then turned himself into a pretty good corner. That's my dawg— The Butcher of Blaviken (@_Khatalyst) March 31, 2020
Sad day today. Although most of us saw this coming, Dre Kirkpatrick was one hell of a Bengal. Nobody cared more for the fans than this guy. He’ll always be one of my favorites. Good luck @DreKirkSWAG ! https://t.co/7b6OlMZZAD— Anthony M (@Whodey613) March 31, 2020
The release of Dre Kirkpatrick clears $8.29M of cap space for the #Bengals, who have added a number of new pieces to their secondary this month as their defensive turnover continues. https://t.co/EspQGzC303— Spotrac (@spotrac) March 31, 2020
I'm sure it's been stated often by other media members, but we always Dre Kirkpatrick standing at his locker after a tough loss. He was one of a handful who did that often in 2019.— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) March 31, 2020
Most casual football fans don't know how to value cornerback play.— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) March 31, 2020
They get beat. They often look silly. It happens.
My not popular Bengals take....going to miss Dre Kirkpatrick. He wasn’t a great tackler and seemed to have a few too many penalties but thought he was an above average coverage corner. Always stand up guy in locker room. Leadership will be missed!— Ed Smith (@Ed_Smith13) March 31, 2020
Mike Zimmer’s version of a compliment for the recently released Dre Kirkpatrick pic.twitter.com/bSGnXHcBCI— Adam Patrick (@Str8_Cash_Homey) March 31, 2020
Dre Kirkpatrick would be the 3rd CB on the Bengals' 2010 decade team.— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) March 31, 2020
Leon Hall and Adam Jones being the other two.
Dre Kirkpatrick announces his leave from the team this morning. A very good cornerback is now on the market. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s picked up soon.— What’s Happening (@SportsTalkGetUp) March 31, 2020
Behind-the-scenes: During quiet/empty locker room weeks Dre Kirkpatrick would make himself available. Appreciated that.— Lindsay Patterson (@LndsPatterson) March 31, 2020
Dre Kirkpatrick, I’ll always remember the 2 INT, one for a TD game to get us into the playoffs against Peyton Manning and the Broncos. That was such an awesome night! Good luck with everything you do my man! #Bengals #WhoDey https://t.co/Ilf1bYDVqR— Tellmeallyourthoughtsongod (@galljm) March 31, 2020
Dre Kirkpatrick is going to make his new team very happy at the right pricepoint.— Chris Roling (@Chris_Roling) March 31, 2020
Dre Kirkpatrick had a great run with the Bengals. 8 years with one team is something to be proud of! Thank you Dre.— Deys of our Bengals (@BengalSadness) March 31, 2020
Dre Kirkpatrick delivered the best soundbites, wore the most unique outfits on road trips and rarely said no to an interview request.— Jeremy Rauch (@FOX19Jeremy) March 31, 2020
Dude was just great entertainment and a refreshing real talker.
(This tweet was sent understanding fully the #Bengals had to move on)
Selfishly, I will miss Dre Kirkpatrick. No matter how bad things got, we could always count on Dre to be at his locker, accessible, quotable. He didn't run from it.— Jeff Wallner (@JeffWallner) March 31, 2020
There was a real push from some to find a way to keep Dre Kirkpatrick somehow. The math never worked. And when they signed Vonn Bell they had to make this move if they wanted to try and keep Shawn Williams in the mix. Williams was a captain and offers depth at 2/3 spots.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) March 31, 2020
Dre Kirkpatrick isn't going to get the credit he deserves. Overpaid, yes. Solid player and good presence.— Chris Roling (@Chris_Roling) March 31, 2020
Now the bad
Kirkpatrick obviously didn’t do everything well over his time in Cincinnati. He did have a habit of getting burned, he missed tackles and he struggled with changing direction witth quicker wide receivers. This led to him being public enemy number one in many fans’ eyes, so it isn’t surprising to see them rejoice.
Dre Kirkpatrick’s contributions to the Bengals, ranked.— price galging (@skwamus) March 31, 2020
2- Pick Six against Manning, MNF 2014
1- Leaving the team because he was released
Dre Kirkpatrick has never lived up to the hype and the past several years he's been average to below average. At 30+, hard pass— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) March 31, 2020
I'll never have to watch dre Kirkpatrick get stiff armed into another realm again while wearing a Bengals Jersey— Cole Craycraft (@ColeCraycraft) March 31, 2020
Bengals releasing Dre Kirkpatrick has to be at the top of the list for best moves this off-season!— Tyler Daugherty (@Daugherty34) March 31, 2020
We did it. We finally did it. Dre Kirkpatrick is gone!!!— Travis Robertson (@TRobertson2) March 31, 2020
Suitors already lining up
As with any player hitting free agency at this point in the process, Kirkpatrick has created quite the buzz among fans of corner back needy teams. There are certainly a number of realistic destinations for Kirkpatrick in his first opportunity to hit the open market. It has to feel good to see a former play at least generate this amount of interest.
I’d expect the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Las Vegas Raiders and Minnesota Vikings to have interest in Dre Kirkpatrick— James Rapien (@JamesRapien) March 31, 2020
There’s no excuse for the Vikings not to go and get Dre Kirkpatrick.— Vikings Central (@MNVikescentral) March 31, 2020
The bengals cut Dre Kirkpatrick. Saints he a dog go getm we need a third corner— Corey Venable (@CoreyVenable3) March 31, 2020
@dallascowboys should be giving Dre Kirkpatrick a call as well as asking for ngakoue price, but we will once again not do a damn thing and go 8-8 again after overpaying Dak.— Colton Reynolds (@coltreyn) March 31, 2020
I'm gonna need the Niners to sign Dre Kirkpatrick so we don't have to draft a corner in the first 2 rounds.— Branden Furlow (@lakershomie08) March 31, 2020
Dre Kirkpatrick is free to sign anywhere. I've always enjoyed him. Pick up the phone Howie. #Eagles— Blake Plonske (@BlakePlonske) March 31, 2020
Dre Kirkpatrick was released by the Bengals as a cap savings move. If the Chiefs wanted to add a veteran to their secondary and think he is a fit, this is the exact kind of player who would choose them over another team to chase a ring.— Doug (still Super Bowl Champs edition) (@dwoverdrive) March 31, 2020
This was Dre Kirkpatrick in 2018. In 2019, he hurt his knee in November and missed the rest of the season. Just got cut over $8M cap hit. Perhaps a cheap veteran option for the #Cowboys to take a chance on? Turns 31 this October. pic.twitter.com/Q7aak10NTm— Roy White III (@RDubThree) March 31, 2020
What was your reaction to the Bengals releasing Kirkpatrick?