UPDATE: Ryan Finley was traded to the Houston Texans. Read more about that here.
It’s finally over. The Bobby Hart era has come to an end.
Today, the Cincinnati Bengals released Hart, along with Ryan Finley, per NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport.
The #Bengals are releasing QB Ryan Finley, source said, along with OT Bobby Hart. Clearly some space with their new signings.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 19, 2021
A seventh-year player in 2021, Hart has appeared in 79 career with 66 starts, many of which have come with the Bengals since arriving in Cincinnati for the 2018 season. The 6-5 tackle was previously a seventh-round pick of the New York Giants in the 2015 NFL Draft. He started 21 games in three years with the G-Men before being cut.
It seemed like Hart was signed by the Bengals as little more than a camp body during the 2018 offseason, but he went on to win the starting right tackle spot. However, Hart finished that season with a porous 57.1 Pro Football Focus grade, one of the worst of any NFL starting tackle that season.
Yet somehow, Hart managed to land a three-year contract worth $21 million during the 2019 offseason. He didn’t exactly reward the Bengals for their faith, as he finished 2019 with a 57.6 PFF grade, again among the worst of any starting tackle.
Hart did manage to make some strides this past year, as he finished 2020 with a 66.3 PFF grade, the highest of his career, but he was still a major liability and was widely expected to be cut this offseason once the Bengals found a suitable replacement.
Finley, a third-year player in 2021, was a fourth-round draft pick by the Bengals in 2019. The club traded up to the top of the round to select the former North Carolina State passer.
In eight games and four starts with the team, Finley threw for 638 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions on 58 of 199 passing (48.7 completion percentage).
Though Finley was unable to find his way in the NFL, he did help the Bengals pull off a huge upset last season over the Steelers, ending an 11-game losing streak to them.
Folks, if the Bengals win @ryanwilsonCBS has to get a RYAN FINLEY TATTOO.— Pick Six Podcast (@picksixpod) December 22, 2020
You can watch him melt down in real time here: https://t.co/ObPoTA3EHN pic.twitter.com/V6x4QW0svS
Thanks for that memory!