Bengals ink DE Jordan Willis to four-year deal

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Nov 26, 2016; Manhattan, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks quarterback Carter Stanley (9) runs from Kansas State Wildcats defensive end Jordan Willis (75) during a game at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. The Wildcats won the game, 34-19. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 26, 2016; Manhattan, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks quarterback Carter Stanley (9) runs from Kansas State Wildcats defensive end Jordan Willis (75) during a game at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. The Wildcats won the game, 34-19. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jordan Willis was the lone holdout for the Cincinnati Bengals. He was added to the fold on Thursday and big things can be expected.

The Cincinnati Bengals seem to be serious about getting things in order this year. On Thursday, the Bengals signed defensive end Jordan Willis to a four-year contract, per The Cincinnati Enquirer. With the signing of Willis, the Bengals have put the business end of the conundrum behind and move on to the task at hand. After missing the playoffs for the first time in six years, the postseason is goal number one.

In order to get back to that playoff caliber football, the Bengals needed to get stronger, faster and younger on defense. Did I mention leaner? The D lost a step last year and managed to snap into shape towards the end of the campaign. Willis is just what the doctor ordered. The former K-State monster was the last of the rookie class to be signed. The Bengals will be able to move into next week’s minicamp focused on how to regain the AFC North crown.

Willis will definitely be a part of the defensive statement that needs to be made. If you don’t know the details, the ink on Mr. Willis is impressive. He ended his time at Kansas State with 11.5 sacks. Overall, Willis racked up 26 sacks, 40.5 tackles for losses and seven forced fumbles. Those stats helped him lock up the Defensive Player of the Year in the Big 12. 

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Looking At Numbers 

The Bengals could use the added quarterback pressure. Last year, Cincinnati posted 33 sacks and ranked 19th in the league. During the 2015 campaign, that total was 42 and good enough for a top 10 finish. Can Willis help boost those numbers? In a situational role, the answer is a resounding…yes.

Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson are the reigning edge warriors. But, Willis could easily replace Johnson with a bit of playing time and confidence from Marvin Lewis & Co.

Next: Who Dey Notes

Grabbing the 6-foot-4 Willis was another steal for the Bengals’ defense. Last year’s draft produced Andrew Billups. Both young men slid down after being considered first or second round selections. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther will have the toys to tinker with. Now, it’s about getting those parts to mesh like a well-oiled machine.

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