Bengals cut LB Brian Simmons


Mar 27, 2006
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Bengals cut Simmons
February 28, 2007

2-27-07, 3:50 p.m.

In a stunning move Wednesday the Bengals released linebacker Brian Simmons, the dean of their defense who has played in 121 games since they drafted him in the first round in 1998.

The Bengals issued the following press release, which comes hours before free agency starts Friday at midnight:

"The Bengals today terminated the contract of LB Brian Simmons, releasing him to free agency.

Simmons, a 10th-year NFL player for 2007, was a Bengals' first-round draft choice in 1998 and has played all nine of his previous seasons for Cincinnati. He has played in 121 games with 115 starts, compiling 896 total tackles, 23 sacks, 11 interceptions, 43 passes defensed, 14 forced fumbles and 8 fumble recoveries. He has scored three touchdowns, two on interception returns and one on a fumble return.

“This was not an easy decision to make,” said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. “Brian has been a fine player on the field, and he has been a great example to all of our players as a team leader and a citizen.

“But a new NFL year is about to begin with the start of free agency, and this allows us to best position our team under the salary cap to move forward for 2007. It will afford us options for signing other players who are a better overall fit, given the strengths and needs of our current roster. This could include our own unsigned players, or players from other teams.

“We thank Brian for his years of great service for the Bengals, and we wish him the very best. We know he has been a favorite among our fans, and it has been our privilege to work with him.”

Simmons missed five games and three additional starts in 2005, due to a neck strain, but he came back to play in the last five games and start the last three. He finished the year with 11 games played and eight starts, and ranked fourth on the team in tackles (78) while leading the front seven in passes defensed (8).

He led the Bengals in tackles in 1999 and finished second on the team in six other seasons."