The Bengals selected Geno Atkins in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, and he’s been a staple of their defense ever since.
But that could be coming to an end soon.
During his Monday press conference, Cincinnati director of player personnel Duke Tobin didn’t exactly offer a ringing endorsement when asked about Atkins’ future with the team.
“We’ll see as we go,” Tobin said. “We’ll see what, if any, of the room we need to do some other things. We’ll see. It’s a fluid situation. I don’t have any updates on it right now. I know we’ve got high regard and hold him in high esteem. He’s been a Bengal his whole career and we’ll see if we can keep that going.”
Atkins, who turns 33 at the end of March, has two seasons left on an extension he signed in 2018. But he played sparingly in just eight games last season while dealing with a shoulder injury. He didn’t record a sack and had just one recorded tackle in 111 defensive snaps.
Cutting Atkins would save Cincinnati $9.5 million against the cap.
“Most of his season was impacted [by his shoulder injury]. The Geno we saw heading into the season during camp was the old Geno. And then he had the issue. He battled through. I have nothing but high regard for Geno Atkins. He’s a home-grown product, a real success story, and a guy that I’ve loved watching grow over the years. And he gave us what he last year, but not near what he’s used to and what we’re used to seeing.”
Atkins did appear in all 16 games back in 2019, reaching the Pro Bowl for the eighth time. He recorded 4.5 sacks, four tackles for loss, and 10 quarterback hits that season.
While Tobin said the team has started conversations about Atkins’ future, he noted it’s not a unique situation since they’re discussing everyone at this point. Atkins has 75.5 career sacks in 161 games for Cincinnati.