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 quarterbacks.
"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 news."
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