Calling it a surprise, Kyle Cook says he still wants to play
in the NFL after being released Tuesday by the Bengals.
"A little surprising with the timing, I thought with
two-years left on my contract, barring a major injury, I would have the
opportunity to compete in the new offense," said Cook. "But, obviously,
Cincinnati didn't have it in their plans long term, be it my overall health or
my age, but I still feel like I can play."
An undrafted player out of Michigan State, Cook started 66
games for Cincinnati at center and played with two different playoff
"Over the course of my five years starting, we were a
playoff team four of those five. So, it's hard to leave the team after
doing some like that. Especially knowing that before my time, or
Whitworth's time, there wasn't a lot of success in that locker room."
Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander called Cook an
"excellent leader" and a "tough guy" in a statement on Tuesday. Mike
Pollak and Trevor Robinson are expected to be in competition to start at
center, but Alexander said the team doesn't have a clear choice for its starter
at this point.
Cook, who is now a free agent, says he wants to continue his
career in the NFL and thanked the organization for the opportunity to make a
career with the Bengals. Cook also made a point to publicly thank Marvin
Lewis for being the person to deliver the news this morning with a phone call.
"You see it in the Hard Knocks shows, there's always a cut
guy, but when you're dealing with a player that's been a veteran and a locker
room presence, I guess Coach Lewis feels like he owes it to you. Which is
awesome because you don't want some random person call you and give you the