Devon Still Released By Cincinnati Bengals, Will Be Covered By NFL Insurance Policy For Five Years
As fans, we tend to forget that the NFL is a business. When there are handful of talented players all vying for the same spot, roster cuts become a numbers game, and Devon Still fell victim to this cruel side of the business on Saturday as the Cincinnati Bengals whittled its roster down to 53 before the 4:00 p.m. deadline.
To refresh the memory, Devon and his daughter Leah — who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2014 — were the feel-good story of the year after Devon was released by the Bengals, only to later be added onto the practice squad so that Leah’s mounting medical bills would be covered under the NFL’s insurance policy. Still later would work his way back to the 53-man roster — while owning the NFL’s top-selling jersey as part of a charitable initiative started by the team — as Leah continued to serve as an inspiration to children battling pediatric cancer.
Although their story was heartwarming, Still was no guarantee to make Cincinnati’s final 53-man roster in 2015 — especially with an abundance of depth along the defensive line. Still was among the names of men whose NFL dreams would be cut short — at least for the time being. After his release, Still became an unrestricted free-agent eligible to sign with any NFL team. Though Still will play out the remainder of his career donning a different uniform, his former employer showed one final act of goodwill — one that proves that there are genuine, caring people in this world, even in a cutthroat business like the NFL.
The Cincinnati Bengals stated that although Still is no longer a member of the team, Leah’s medical bills will still be covered under the NFL’s insurance policy for the next five years. Still, ever-gracious despite unfortunate circumstances, understood why Cincinnati made the move, and showed tremendous respect for the organization that helped him during the most dire times.
“They made the best decision that they felt would bring that city a Super Bowl,” Still said in an interview with ESPN. “I have nothing but respect for the organization.”
Still later took to Instagram to thank the team, emitting an aura of infectious positivity — something he’s shown all along despite stacked odds.
With the 2015 NFL regular season just around the corner, there are plenty of teams in need of added help along the defensive line, and there’s a good chance Still will be signed at some point throughout the year. Regardless, he can take solace knowing that good people are looking out for him and the well-being of his daughter — something far more important than wins and losses.