Hoping to return to the NFL after a year away from the game, per a report from Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the Seahawks worked out veteran safety George Iloka on Thursday.
Iloka, 32, most recently played for the Vikings in 2020, appearing in four games and making six tackles as a reserve before suffering a season-ending torn ACL. Though recovered from the injury, he did not latch on with any teams for training camp last year and wound up sitting out the entire season.
A former fifth-round pick out of Boise State, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Iloka enjoyed a successful five year stint as a starting strong and free safety for the Bengals from 2013 to 2017. During that span, while he did not make any Pro Bowl teams, he started 76 games and produced 227 solo tackles, nine interceptions, 23 pass breakups, and nine tackles for loss.
Despite that success, Cincinnati moved on from Iloka at the end of training camp in August 2018 in a cost-cutting move. He latched on with Minnesota, reuniting with coach Mike Zimmer, who served as his defensive coordinator in Cincinnati earlier in his career. That season, he only started three games, producing 16 tackles and a forced fumble primarily on special teams.
According to Garafolo, Iloka worked out for Seattle with the intention of coming back as a cover linebacker. Interestingly, this is not the first time the Houston native has tried to successfully come back after sitting out a year, as he didn't play at all in 2019 after Dallas released him in the preseason. He made his way back into the league with Minnesota the following year before sustaining his ACL injury.
Given his age and recent injury history, there's no guarantee the Seahawks will sign Iloka. But he does have the size to play linebacker in today's NFL and even if he's lost a few steps compared to when he starred as a safety for the Bengals, he likely still moves well enough to cover at the second level and contribute on special teams, so it wouldn't be a surprise if the team decided to take a flier on him heading into OTAs.