The team told Crocker that it had a problem with his durability and not his talent. (US Presswire)

The Bengals announced Friday they’ve released 10-year veteran safety Chris Crocker, and with that transaction, the team will save about $2.45 million against the salary cap. But what is Cincinnati sacrificing? Leadership, perhaps.

As Bengals Rapid Reporter Paul Denher writes, Crocker “was recognized as the pulse of the Bengals locker room and one of the primary leaders defensively. He received the Good Guy Award in 2011 for dealing with the media by the Pro Football Writers Association.”

Crocker is 32, and he told the team’s official website that he met with coach Marvin Lewis anMike Brownd owner Mike Brown to talk about why the move needed to be made.

“They wanted to let me know it was a durability issue and it wasn't a talent issue," Crocker said. "They're appreciative of my abilities as a player but I think in their mind it came down to my age and coming off the injury. I'm appreciative of what the Brown (family) did. They gave my career a second wind and I feel like good things happened when I was here in Cincinnati."

Crocker had suffered from injuries since arriving in Cincinnati, missing a total of 16 games from 2008-10, but he also played and started every game for the Bengals last season and accumulated 61 tackles and a career-high 3.5 sacks.

Crocker also said the team told him there’s a small chance he could be re-signed by the Bengals. Until then, he’ll explore his options.

"I'm going to see what's out there and what other teams think," Crocker said.

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