The Cincinnati Bengals have lost another of their free agents as multiple reports have safety Reggie Neslon signing with the Oakland Raiders.
Nelson spent six seasons with the Bengals after they acquired him in a trade with Jacksonville prior to the start of the 2010 season.
Ironically, the move reunites Nelson with Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio, who was the Jaguars head coach when they traded Nelson to Cincinnati.
The nine-year veteran earned his first Pro Bowl nomination in 2015 when he shared the NFL lead in interceptions with eight, topping his previous high of five. Nelson was unable to play in the Pro Bowl due to an ankle injury suffered in the wild-card loss to Pittsburgh.
His departure to Oakland opens the door for safety Shawn Williams to move into the starting role opposite George Iloka, who also was a free agent this offseason before re-signing with the Bengals for $30 million over five years.
Williams will be a fourth-year player in 2016. He has appeared in all 48 games since the Bengals selected him in the third round of the 2013 draft. He started four games in 2015, three of which were in place of an injured Iloka and the other was when Cincinnati employed a three-safety alignment in the Nov. 1 game at Pittsburgh.
Williams had an interception in the fourth quarter against Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to set up the Bengals’ game-winning touchdown drive.
Terms of of Nelson’s deal with the Raiders have yet to be announced.
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