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Zac Taylor discusses the Bengals’ release of La’el Collins

The Bengals head coach wasn’t happy to say goodbye to Collins.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals were coming off an embarrassing Week 1 loss to the Cleveland Browns and trying to focus on their Week 2 home opener against the Baltimore Ravens. That’s why it seemed to be weird timing when the Bengals announced they released offensive tackle La’el Collins, who was recovering from a season-ending injury on PUP.

Many were scratching their heads on the timing and if the Bengals had some immediate plans with the money they were saving, but mum’s the word.

The only word has been Bengals head coach Zac Taylor’s remarks regarding Collins’ release during his Wednesday press conference. Taylor was sad it had to be done.

“It’s tough. There’s never a great time. He worked really hard for us. I have a lot of respect for LC and the way he went about his business, gave us some really good snaps last year until the injury,” said Taylor. “He’s one of those guys that just loves ball, and you enjoy being around him. There’s never a great time to do it, and it sucks when you have to tell a guy like that bye.”

The Bengals signed Collins last offseason to be their starting left tackle, but he was lost to injury in the team’s Christmas Eve game against the New England Patriots. By releasing him, Collins is an unrestricted free agent, and the Bengals save $6.2 million in cap space this season and $7 million next season.

It also cements the status of D’Ante Smith and Jackson Carman as the Bengals’ only two backup offensive tackles. Hopefully, the Bengals are right in their decision if the backup tackles have to see action later in the season.

And here’s to hoping Collins gets a chance to eventually play for another team.