The Cincinnati Bengals have released safety Chris Crocker. A starter since coming to Cincinnati in 2008, Crocker told the Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy that he was unsurprised by the move and that the team had lingering concerns over his durability.
Crocker started every game last season for the Bengals, but played injured quite a bit, especially in the second half of the season. He never really fully recovered from a knee injury which sidelined the final six games of the 2010 season. The decline in his performance was evident as the season wore on, especially in the playoff game against Houston where he dropped a sure interception and allowed Arian Foster to easily stiff arm him on his way to the end zone.
Crocker's contribution to the team over his four year tenure has been immense however. Having previously worked with Mike Zimmer in Atlanta, he welcomed the opportunity to come to Cincinnati after being released in mid-season by the Miami Dolphins in 2008. He started the final six games of that season and was a fixture in the Bengals secondary the rest of the way, starting in 44 games over the course of his Bengals career. Crocker was a dependable tackler in run support and could lay the big hit when receivers came over the middle.
Taylor Mays leads the candidates to replace Crocker. Jeromy Miles and Robert Sands should also see some time at safety and the Bengals may add via the draft depending on who is available. Alabama's Mark Barron has been high on the Bengals' draft board but may be gone before the Bengals first pick at 17.
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