A constantly updated list of any of the Bengals’ free agent activity- tweeted, reported, or whispered. Last update: 4:28 am, Friday, July 29th.
SIGNED PLAYERS to the Bengals
Bruce Gradkowski (QB-OAK) to Bengals: Gradkowski’s agent, Rick Smith, tweeted that Gradkowski signed to Bengals under a 2-year deal. Adam Schefter and others have confirmed this, and Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com addressed why he thinks Gradkowski was signed. Gradkowski cannot sign the deal until free agency officially begins Friday at 6 pm. Bruce also tweeted that he is”ready to rock n’ roll” with the Bengals.
Thomas Howard (LB-OAK) to Bengals: via Adam Schefter, Thomas Howard has been signed to the Bengals on a two-year, $6.5 contract. Howard was a second-round draft pick in 2006, and had started every game but 2 in his first four seasons, averaging 80 tackles a year. However, he was basically benched for all of 2010. It’s been reported that Starting Weakside Linebacker Keith Rivers has injured his wrist, and will miss a few games. This signing may be in reponse to Rivers’ injury.
SIGNED PLAYERS [whom the Bengals had interest in] to other teams
Robert Gallery (OL-OAK) to Seattle: Jason Cole of Yahoo! reported that the Bengals and Seahawks were in a bidding war for this veteran Left Guard. However, the Seahawks won out and signed him to a 3-year deal.
DeAngelo Williams (RB-CAR) stays in Carolina: Bengals.com reported that the Bengals had interest in Williams. But, the 28-year-old back re-signed with the Panthers on a large 5-year, $43 million deal.
Johnathan Joseph (CB-CIN) to Houston Texans: As of 8 pm, Thursday night, Johnathan Joseph signed to the Houston Texans to a five-year deal worth $48.75 million, $23.5 million of which is guaranteed. James Walker believes that the Bengals “dropped the ball” on this one and I %100 agree. Injury history or not, what a horrible mistake in letting Joseph go for under $10 million a year.
Brandon Jackson (RB-GB) to Cleveland Browns: According to Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network, the Bengals have shown interest in Jackson, but Jackson has now reportedly signed to the Cleveland Browns on a 2-year, $4.5 million deal. According to Bengal.com, the Bengals decided not to fully pursue Jackson because “They’re looking for a starter and apparently didn’t think Jackson fit the bill.”
UNSIGNED PLAYERS whom the Bengals have reported interest in:
Cedric Benson (RB-CIN): According to Bengals.com, the Bengals are still interested in re-signing Benson, and have been engaging in talks. Benson has been the Bengals primary Running Back for the last 2.5 years, but got has himself into trouble with the law this offseason.
Joseph Addai (RB-IND): According to Bengals.com, the Bengals have also been pursuing Addai, a veteran Running Back who has excelled when healthy with the Colts, but has had a miserable injury history.
Jonathan Fanene (DL-CIN): According to Bengals.com, the Bengals are interested in re-signing Fanene, a 7th round pick from the 2005 draft who has done well despite injuries.
Brandon Johnson (LB-CIN): According to Bengals.com, the Bengals are interested in re-signing Johnson. He has played well in limited snaps behind starters Rey Maualgua, Dhani Jones, and Keith Rivers. However, now with the signing of Oakland’s Thomas Howard, this seems unlikely.
Brian Leonard (RB-CIN): According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Bengals have also have reached out to Leonard. Similar to Brandon Johnson and Jonathan Fanene, Leonard has played well in limited snaps, mostly used as a pass-catching back on third downs.