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  1. #1
    tomahawk247's Avatar
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    LB Brian Simmons released by Bengals

    CINCINNATI (Feb. 28, 2007) -- Linebacker Brian Simmons was released by the Cincinnati Bengals, a surprising move by a team trying to improve one of the NFL's worst defenses while emphasizing character in the locker room.

    Simmons, 31, has spent his entire nine-year career with the Bengals, who made him a first-round draft pick in 1998. He had two years left on his contract for $7 million.

    Coach Marvin Lewis said the decision came down to the money.

    "This was not an easy decision to make," he said in a statement. "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."

    The Bengals didn't attempt to renegotiate Simmons' contract, agent Jerrold Colton said.

    "It is somewhat of a surprise," Colton said. "Brian has been a very important, long-standing part of the Cincinnati Bengals and is still performing at a top level."

    The defense has been the Bengals' biggest shortcoming during Lewis' four seasons, but Simmons has been one of their most dependable and versatile linebackers. He led the team in tackles in 1999 and finished second six times.

    He missed five games last season because of a strained neck, but finished fourth on the team in tackles. He played both middle and outside linebacker, helping the team get through the loss of middle linebacker Odell Thurman.

    Thurman, one of nine Bengals arrested in a nine-month span, was suspended for all of last season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. He has yet to be reinstated by the league.

    Last week, Thurman pleaded no contest to a drunken driving charge and said he was undergoing treatment for alcohol abuse.

    Colton recently got an indication from the Bengals that they were considering letting Simmons go.

    "When I spoke to them recently, there was hesitation," Colton said. "I didn't necessarily get a firm commitment."

    He might not be a bad pickup. Yeah he is 31, but he has experience playing SLB and is 6'3 240.

    He could easily come in and do a good job for us for a couple of years
    Last edited by tomahawk247; -03-01-2007 at 10:38 AM.


  2. #2
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    Re: LB Brian Simmons released by Bengals

    Depends on his health, but he might be the best option he is a solid LB and would be cheaper because he is 31.

  3. #3
    Rambos's Avatar
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    Re: LB Brian Simmons released by Bengals

    Updated: Feb. 28, 2007, 4:35 PM ET
    Simmons' release makes Bengals young at LBBy Len Pasquarelli
    ESPN.com


    In a surprising move that leaves the Cincinnati Bengals with one of the youngest linebacker corps in the NFL, the team on Wednesday released nine-year veteran and former first-round draft choice Brian Simmons, making him an unrestricted free agent and free to sign with another club.

    The termination of Simmons' contract came after a season in which he missed five full games and parts of two other contests with a neck injury.

    Simmons, 31, had two seasons remaining on his contract, at base salaries of $3.3 million for 2007 and $3.7 million for 2008.

    It appears the decision to release Simmons, a fixture in the Cincinnati lineup since the club chose him in the first round of the 1998 draft, was a combination of several factors: his diminished productivity because of injuries, his high base salaries, and a desire by the coaches to go with younger players at the position.

    The departure of Simmons means that the Bengals have no linebackers on their current roster with more than three seasons of NFL experience.

    "This was not an easy decision to make," said 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 citizen. But a new NFL year is about to begin and, with the start of free agency, 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 fit, given the strengths and needs of our current roster."

    A former North Carolina star, Simmons started at all three linebacker spots in his Cincinnati tenure. He appeared in 121 games for the Bengals, and started in 115 of them

    He registered 896 tackles, leading the team in that category in 1999, and finished second on the club six other seasons. He also had 23 sacks, 11 interceptions, 43 passes defensed, 14 forced fumbles and eight fumble recoveries. In 11 games in 2006, Simmons had 78 tackles.

    Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.

  4. #4
    RAMMAN68's Avatar
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    Re: LB Brian Simmons released by Bengals

    Sounds good, but one thing to remember is we still have Chillar who isn't that bad, and is younger.
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  5. #5
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    Re: LB Brian Simmons released by Bengals

    brian simmons would be a hell of a pickup...

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