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Report: Veteran safety George Iloka expected to sign with Vikings

By Judd Zulgad

The Vikings pursued George Iloka in free agency two years ago, but the veteran safety decided to return to the Cincinnati Bengals. It appears now that Iloka will finally end up wearing purple.

The 28-year-old Iloka, released by the Bengals last weekend, was on his way to Minnesota on Wednesday morning and likely will sign with the Vikings, according to NFL Media.

Whoa. Free-agent safety George Iloka is on his way to Minnesota, and it appears likely he signs with the #Vikings today, per @RapSheet and me. Mike Zimmer connection from #Bengals days. One of the NFL’s best defenses about to get even better?

— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 22, 2018

As Pelissero points out in the above tweet Iloka and Vikings coach Mike Zimmer have a connection from when Zimmer was Iloka’s defensive coordinator in Cincinnati. Iloka spent his first six seasons with the Bengals.

ESPN reported a league source said Iloka was stunned by the decision. He had been a starting safety for the Bengals since 2013 after being drafted in the fifth round out of Boise State in 2012. Zimmer coached Iloka for his first two seasons. Iloka had three years left on his contract and would have counted $6.2 million against the salary cap in 2018.

The first indication that Iloka’s time in Cincinnati might be nearing an end came in April when the Bengals drafted safety Jessie Bates in the second round. Bates, who played college football at Wake Forest, was used with Cincinnati’s first team at times during their first two exhibition games.

Harrison Smith, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, and veteran Andrew Sendejo have been the Vikings’ starting safeties but Iloka could challenge Sendejo for the starting job. There also is a chance that Zimmer could use three safeties at the same time in certain packages.

The post Report: Veteran safety George Iloka expected to sign with Vikings appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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