The team informed the cornerback of his release, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.
Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer first reported the news. The team later confirmed the release.
“Dre was a part of the Bengals‘ organization for many years, and displayed passion, energy and competitiveness both on and off the field,” Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said in a statement. “We appreciate his many contributions to our team and community over the years, and wish him the best moving forward.”
â Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet)
March 31, 2020
A first-round pick in 2012, Kirkpatrick has been a mainstay in the Bengals secondary for the past eight seasons. He compiled 65 passes defended and 10 INTs with 302 tackles.
The 30-year-old played six games in 2019 before going on injured reserve with a knee injury.
The Bengals spent heavily this offseason to reshape the secondary, signing corners Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander from Minnesota and adding safety Vonn Bell from New Orleans. With Kirkpatrick’s release, Cincy is set to deploy Waynes and William Jackson on the outside with Alexander in the slot.
With the additions, Kirkpatrick’s bulky contract became expendable. The Bengals will save $8.29 million with the release with $2.8 million in dead money, per Over The Cap.
Kirkpatrick might not be a run-stopper but remains a solid cover corner who should draw interest on the open market.