Regardless of whether fans are content with the moves (or lack thereof) the Cincinnati Bengals front office has made so far this offseason, the entire fan base will be happy to hear that restricted free agent linebacker Vincent Rey will remain with the team after inking a two-year deal.
Rey was quietly a force for the Bengals last season despite limited playing time and gives the coaching staff flexibility as to the makeup of its linebacker corps for the next few years.
In 2013, Rey recorded career highs with 57 total tackles, four sacks and two interceptions. According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), he graded out with a +6.3 mark.
Head coach Marvin Lewis had this to say in the press release that announced the move, via ESPN’s Coley Harvey:
“Vinny is a tough guy and a pleasure to coach, and it’s great to have him back in the fold,” coach Marvin Lewis said in a news release. “He really helped us in winning the division title last year.”
Joe Reedy, formerly of the Cincinnati Enquirer, best summed up how Bengals fans should feel about the move:
Wake up in the dessert and see that #bengals have re-signed Vinny Rey. Good to see
— Joe Reedy (@joereedy) March 15, 2014
With the release of James Harrison earlier in the week, Rey figures to have a strong shot at scoring a starting gig. While many may want to see Rey Maualuga replaced at middle linebacker, he still has one year left on his current deal and will likely be allowed to play that out.
Rey may be able to win a job as the strong-side linebacker, but he’ll face stiff competition from Emmanuel Lamur. Regardless, Rey continues to help round out what is one of the deepest linebacker units in the NFL, and if the coaching staff is ready in the next year or so to make the move, he may turn out to be a quality every-down starter.