Bengals release backup offensive guard Mike Pollak

INDIANAPOLIS -- While away from home at the NFL combine, the Cincinnati Bengals made a fairly sizable roster move Friday, releasing backup offensive guard Mike Pollak.

Although used in a limited, reserve capacity, Pollak still appeared in 14 games this past season. Most notably, he filled in at right guard in several games, playing in relief of Kevin Zeitler who had a couple of calf injuries. Pollak also filled in at left guard for parts of two games as Clint Boling moved to right tackle to replace edge blocker Andre Smith, who missed the last six games with a torn triceps.

Pollak, who signed a two-year extension last March, played 40.4 percent of the Bengals' offensive snaps.

The seven-year veteran spent the past two seasons with the Bengals after having earlier stops with the Colts and Panthers. With his release, Pollak will be eligible for free agency.

It appears Pollak's release is a sign the Bengals want to retain Boling, the starting left guard who also will be a free agent next month. With Pollak out of the fold, the Bengals now only have Boling, Zeitler and T.J. Johnson and Trey Hopkins as guards on their active roster. Pollak's release also looks like a clear sign the Bengals are comfortable with using Hopkins in a backup role next season after the first-year player spent all of 2014 on the injured reserve with a lower leg injury.

Pollak's departure will come at a slight financial loss for the Bengals, too. They'll take a $1.9 million cap hit in 2015.

That shouldn't be a major blow, considering it appears the NFL will provide teams with a $143 million cap limit this season. If that proves to be the case as expected, the Bengals could have about $34 million in available cap space to work with this offseason.