Unfortunate news for defensive tackle Devon Still today, as the Cincinnati Bengals released him during the final set of preseason cuts.
This marks the second time in as many years that Still didn’t make it through the final wave of cuts, although he would eventually make the team last year. Still is now an unrestricted free agent, able to sign with any other team that will have him.
Still has been in the news for quite some time, as his daughter Leah has been a sign of empowerment for pediatric cancer.
“He really did a good job this preseason and it’s an unfortunate part of professional sports that not everyone can stay there and be there in the end,” Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said in a press conference shortly after the decision was made. “For both Devon and the Bengals, we want to this year just focus on football and make sure everything was right for our football team.”
Still took to Instagram to thank the Cincinnati Bengals organization for supporting him and his daughter through what he called one of the darkest times in his entire life. He said he was grateful for the opportunity they provided and will look to move forward.
Still, who had dropped 27 pounds heading into this preseason, performed well and impressed coaches with his physical conditioning. In 2014, Still was also cut during the preseason. The Bengals held on to the defensive tackle and signed him to their practice squad before placing him back on the 53-man roster in week 2.
Both the Bengals and Still worked tirelessly to raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer. The good will from the Cincinnati organization helped rehabilitate their image of sorts. In previous years, the team had a string of troublesome players, and then dealt with the untimely death of Chris Henry in 2009.
The Bengals raised well over $1 million for pediatric cancer research last year during a sale of Still’s jersey. In July, Devon Still accepted the ESPYS Perseverance Award for Leah, where he praised the Cincinnati Bengals for the help they had provided.
At only 26-years-old, Still has plenty of time to make an impression on other NFL teams. Still was a second round pick for the Bengals in 2012 and has played with the team ever since. The NFL’s current policies and collective bargaining agreement provide health insurance for five years after a player exits the National Football League.
[Image Via Jared Wickerham/Getty Images Sport]