Bengals releasing veteran safety

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

The Cincinnati Bengals are releasing safety Nick Scott, the team announced.

That comes as no surprise after his rough first season in Cincinnati last year. By releasing Scott, the Bengals save $2.3 million in cap space and take on $2 million in dead money.

The Bengals also have re-signed linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither to a one-year contract extension through the 2024 season, securing the return of a solid backup linebacker and key special teams contributing. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported the deal to be worth $3 million.

In light of Scott’s release, Cincinnati already has a veteran safety replacement on the way. On Monday, the Bengals came to an agreement on a two-year, $15 million deal to sign former Baltimore safety Geno Stone. NFL free agency was set to open at 4 p.m. Wednesday, but the NFL’s legal tampering period opened Monday to allow teams to begin negotiations with players becoming unrestricted free agents.

Cincinnati had signed Scott to a three-year deal in free agency last year, but he was replaced after 10 games by rookie Jordan Battle, who finished the season as the starting strong safety over the final seven games.

Scott, who spent his first four seasons with the L.A. Rams, played in all 17 games with the Bengals in 2023, including those 10 starts, and finished with 57 tackles. Pro Football Focus gave him just a 38.3 coverage grade, a 53.6 run defense grade and overall grade of 44.0.

Davis-Gaither, who will be a fifth-year player in 2024, originally was a fourth-round pick of the Bengals in 2020. He has played in 54 regular-season games for Cincinnati, including four starts, and has totaled 105 tackles, 0.5 sacks, one forced fumble, one interception and seven passes defended.

A big player in Darrin Simmons’ special teams unit, Davis-Gaither serves as the third linebacker behind Logan Wilson and Germaine Pratt. He is among three players the Bengals have retained in free agency, joining guard Cody Ford and running back Trayveon Williams.

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