Nov. 12 (UPI) — The Cincinnati Bengals cut ties with veteran linebacker Preston Brown, the team announced Tuesday.
Brown, who was released two days after being replaced by rookie linebacker Germaine Pratt in the lineup, started the first eight games of the season for the Bengals. He came off the bench during Sunday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
The Bengals signed Brown to a three-year, $ 16.5 million contract in March, according to Spotrac. The deal included $ 4.8 million guaranteed and made him the team’s highest-paid linebacker on the roster.
Brown, a sixth-year player out of Louisville, was in his second season with the Bengals after originally joining the team on a one-year contract in March 2018. In nine games (eight starts) this season, he recorded 54 total tackles, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor told reporters Monday that the team needed better leadership from its linebackers.
“Someone needs to step up and be a leader there,” Taylor said. “We’ve been waiting on that and shuffling the lineup around, waiting on someone to step up and be consistent and be a leader in that room. We’re still waiting on that.”
The Buffalo Bills selected Brown in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Since entering the league, he has notched 608 combined tackles, five interceptions, three forced fumbles, one sack and 14 passes defensed.