Kirkpatrick's contract was going through the 2021 campaign, but this move saves Cincinnati $8.3 million in salary cap room. The 30-year-old felt as if this move was on the way at the end of last season more due to his age than his performance, as he knew changes were coming after they went 2-14 for the worst record in the NFL. They have the top overall pick in April's NFL Draft, which is expected to be LSU Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow.
Over his eight years with the Bengals, the cornerback appeared in 99 games and started 67 of them, recording 10 interceptions and 65 pass deflections. He is expected to be replaced by former Minnesota Vikings first-round draft pick Trae Waynes, who received a three-year, $42 million contract this off-season.