Darqueze Dennard has been signed to his rookie deal officially. After several encouraging reports about his progress, the team has finally succeeded to getting him under contract. Fans can expect the rookie corner to make somewhere in the range of 8.5 million over four years. It says a lot about the young corner that he was willing to practice without his contract being secured after injuries deterred some players from getting drafted where they probably deserved to be. This makes it official that Dennard will be at all practices prior to the start of the season.
Dennard will provide much needed security in the secondary as Terence Newman and Adam Jones only get older. He will also enable Leon Hall to return gradually as he needs to as he continues to recover from his second torn achilles. With Dennard contributing, the team can keep its secondary fresh as they seek their fourth straight playoff appearance; he may even allow Adam Jones to return to his punt returning duties where he’s proven to be dangerous in the past. They’ll need Dennard as the Bengals have a difficult schedule to deal with this year; several analysts have predicted the team will only win nine games this year. The Ravens have had a strong offseason and pose the biggest threat to the Bengals recent reign. But with a strong offseason of their own, the Bengals should be more than able to get the key wins against the Ravens and the rest of the division giving them an advantage towards winning the North once more.
With Dennard possessing the ability to contribute against the run, an especially important quality to possess in the AFC North, and an ability to get physical with opposing receivers, he should make a contribution to the team immediately. Hopefully his contribution will be one of many as a few rookies could see significant playing time this year: Dennard, Hill, and Bodine. Maybe Dennard and his fellow rookies can be the catalyst that gets the Bengals the playoff win they have been in search of since 2011.