George Iloka Reportedly Re-Signs with Cincinnati Bengals

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist

Cincinnati Bengals strong safety George Iloka walks the field during practice before an NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Frank Victores)
Frank Victores/Associated Press

Cincinnati Bengals strong safety George Iloka said he's open to a return to the franchise and lived up to that word, reportedly agreeing to a contract prior to the start of free agency.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the deal, noting it's for five years and worth $30 million. Rapoport added that Iloka will receive $18 million in the first three seasons. Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports confirmed the report.

Prior to reaching a deal, Iloka made it clear that staying with the Bengals was on the table.

"I would be open to returning to Cincinnati and finishing what we started, getting a Super Bowl ring," Iloka said on March 1 on SiriusXM Radio.

"Free agency is an anxious time," Iloka told SiriusXM. "I know I have some possible suitors but the decision is up to me."

Iloka, 25, made 47 tackles and one interception in 2015. He was limited to 12 games because of a groin injury and ankle injuries. The former fifth-round pick has started 44 of the Bengals' last 48 games, emerging from near-obscurity to become a valuable contributor on the cheap.

Unfortunately for the Bengals, that will be changing in 2016. ranked Iloka as the 24th-best free agent on the market and the third-best safety, behind only Eric Weddle and teammate Reggie Nelson. The 32-year-old Nelson is coming off a season in which he tied for the NFL lead with eight interceptions and is a free agent.

While Nelson's future is uncertain, the Bengals will be happy to have locked up Iloka before he hit the open market.


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