In a late-night surprise, Pro Football Talk is reporting that the Cincinnati Bengals have reached an agreement with defensive end Wallace Gilberry on a three-year deal that will pay him $6.75 million. Gilberry signed with the team on September 18th and finished the 2012 season with 6.5 sacks, a forced fumble and three fumble recoveries, including one which he ran back 25 yards for a touchdown in a critical Week 15 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Feels good to look in the mirror and know that the hard work has paid off and that theres still hope for us #underdogs
— Wallace Gilberry (@Gilberry92) March 11, 2013
Gilberry’s 6.5 sacks put him in third place on the team when it came to pressuring the quarterback. In a recent interview, Gilberry stressed his desire to remain with the team who gave him a chance after everyone else had passed on him:
Cincinnati’s definitely interested. And I’m definitely interested in Cincinnati. Hopefully my agent can work out the legitimates and have me back in that No. 95 Bengals jersey.
Gilberry entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Alabama. After being previously released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Gilberry was signed just before Week 3, and his snaps steadily increased from only 15% of team snaps in the first half of the season to 46% in the narrow playoff loss to the Houston Texans. Gilberry’s 6.5 sacks in only 209 pass rush snaps made him one of the best situational pass-rushers in the league to come off the bench.
This should eliminate the need for the Bengals to draft a defensive end in the first-round.