Hill, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent in March, appeared to tweet a goodbye message to Cincinnati on Wednesday.
"Been one hell of a ride Cincinnati on to the next chapter," he wrote above a video of highlights from his Bengals years.
Been one hell of a ride Cincinnati on to the next chapter pic.twitter.com/L3dL0wvEUD
— Jeremy Hill (@JeremyHill33) January 31, 2018
It has seemed clear since last May that Hill's time in Cincinnati was limited. The Bengals took running back Joe Mixon in the second round of the 2017 draft and also expressed interest in Leonard Fournette, who went off the board fourth overall. Hill did not finish out the year after choosing to have season-ending ankle surgery in November.
"Jeremy thinks he needs to have ankle surgery," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said at the time, noting that he was surprised by the decision. "He's consulted a couple of physicians. Both said this is something that could wait until after the season, and he just felt like it was causing too much discomfort."
Hill wrote about the disappointment of the season on his Instagram account after the surgery.
"I know in many ways for myself 2017 feels like a bad dream that I can't wake up from but I know I wouldn't be experiencing any of this if it wasn't for a purpose," he wrote. "I'm aware a lot of you have written me off but this is only the beginning for me."
Hill was selected by the Bengals in the second round of the 2014 draft and rushed for 1,124 yards and nine touchdowns in his rookie season. He was never able to recapture the success of his first year. Although he rushed for 11 touchdowns in 2015, that season will be most remembered for a mistake he made in the wild-card round of the playoffs.
Hill fumbled with 1:36 left in fourth quarter with the Bengals leading the Steelers 16-15 and poised to win their first playoff game since the 1990 season. The Steelers ultimately came back to win, and both the Bengals and Hill were never quite the same afterward.
The Bengals have had two losing seasons in the past two years, and Hill played in only seven games in 2017, rushing 37 times for 116 yards and no touchdowns. Although technically he started all seven games, Hill was often playing only the first series of each half and had lost significant playing time to Mixon, who finished the season with 913 all-purpose yards.
Hill, 25, will now enter free agency in a market that could feature Steelers All-Pro running back Le'Veon Bell. Hill started 43 games and carried the ball 704 times for 2,873 yards and 29 touchdowns during his time in Cincinnati.
"I'm not nervous at all," Hill said to the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I think the chips will fall where they may and I'm good with that going forward. I'm going to put the work in and when you do that you can sleep good at night knowing you did everything you could, and that's what I'm going to do."