After 11 years, Geno Atkins’ time with the Cincinnati Bengals has come to an end.
Per head coach Zac Taylor, the Bengals will release the soon-to-be 33-year old defensive tackle.
Zac confirms cuts of Geno Atkins, Bobby Hart and Ryan Finley. #Bengals— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonATH) March 19, 2021
“He’s a Hall of Fame player that has meant a lot to this organization." https://t.co/38uvD4irY3— Charlie Goldsmith (@CharlieG__) March 19, 2021
This news comes a after it was reported that the Bengals agreed to terms with defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi on a one-year, $6.2 million deal. With Ogunjobi taking home a healthy amount of cash this season, it spelled the inevitable release of Atkins, who happens to be a good friend of Ogunjobi.
Atkins joined the Bengals as a fourth-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. At that time, a defensive tackle who was barely 6-0 and not even 300 pounds was an absolute rarity in the league. It was Atkins’ lack of size that allowed the Bengals to scoop him up outside of the first 100 picks in that draft. Little did everyone know what kind of gem they found.
For the next decade, Atkins wreaked havoc on opposing offensive lines as one of the premier interior pass rushers in the game. From 2011-2019, Atkins was an eight-time Pro Bowl nominee and a two-time First Team All-Pro. He only missed a total of nine games during that nine-year stretch, seven of them were due a torn ACL in 2013.
In the 2020 offseason, Atkins was named to the NFL’s 2010s All Decade team, which greatly boosted his already illustrious Hall of Fame resume. That was unfortunately the highlight of last year for Atkins as a shoulder injury he suffered in August completely derailed his final year in Cincinnati. Atkins played just eight games, 119 total defensive snaps, and registered three quarterback pressures, and one tackle.
In his Bengals career, Atkins amassed 75.5 sacks (second in franchise history), 228 solo tackles, 100 tackles for loss, and eight forced fumbles to go with his eight Pro Bowls and two All-Pro listings. He is quite simply one of the greatest players to ever wear the stripes, and we all wish him a fulfilling end to his career, wherever that may be.