Bengals release Hardy
Hardy appeared in 32 games over two seasons with the Bengals. (Bengals photo)
5-3-05, 2:15 p.m.
BY GEOFF HOBSON
In a transaction that had been anticipated since Draft Day, the Bengals released starting left outside linebacker Kevin Hardy and could pave the way for No. 1 draft pick David Pollack’s move into the starting lineup.
Hardy, who turns 32 the week training camp opens, joined the Bengals two years ago as one of head coach Marvin Lewis’ first major free-agent signings. He started 30 of 32 games and led the defense in snaps in 2003. Lewis signed the one-time Pro Bowler and No. 2 overall pick in the 1996 draft for his leadership as much as his talent.
With Hardy scheduled to make $2.8 million this season, the Bengals save about $1 million under the salary cap.
“Kevin’s leadership abilities and professionalism have been a huge asset to me and our football team, and this is a difficult decision to make,” Lewis said in a statement. “However, for Kevin’s ability to gain an opportunity with another team, this is the best timing. On behalf of the Bengals organization, I want to wish Kevin well and to thank him and his family for his contributions.”