AFC North Notes: Bengals, Darqueze Dennard, Steelers

     

Bengals

Bengals vice president Troy Blackburn offered an explanation for re-signing OT Bobby Hart to a three-year, $21 million contract this offseason.

“For those who say you shouldn’t have signed Bobby Hart, who is going to play right tackle? Who? Oh, maybe you’ll draft one in the third round and he’ll come on. Really? You’re going to bet your season on that? We may still draft somebody. We haven’t had the draft yet. But you just can’t criticize,” Blackburn said, per Katherine Terrell. “In our business you have to solve the problem. If you’re not going to play him, tell me who? Trent Brown at 17 million? Really? A seventh-round draft pick? Let go essentially by his team. Really? We can’t go to WalMart and buy off the shelf. A high quality starting right tackle? That doesn’t exist (in free agency). You have to deal in the universe of options you have. We ended up signing eight guys. That’s probably above average. Were they perfect? You’re not going to get perfect. … There aren’t perfect options out there. We asked Willie Anderson if he could go to a time machine and come back at age 25. We’d love to sign him, but you have to deal in your universe of options. I think the data would say we signed more guys than most in line with the cap that we talked about. If there are surprises out there we’ll try to be flexible and aggressive, but normally there are no surprises out there.”

Contracts

  • According to Katherine Terrell, the Bengals signed CB Darqueze Dennard to a one-year, $1.5 million that includes a $2.5 million signing bonus, $250,000 roster bonus, and a $250,000 workout bonus. Terrell says that this is about half of their original offer to Dennard.
  • Terrell reports that the Bengals signed DE Kerry Wynn to a one-year, $900,000 deal with a $300,000 signing bonus, a $100,000 roster bonus, and a $100,000 workout bonus.

Steelers

Steelers HC Mike Tomlin said second-year WR James Washington will be given the opportunity for a starting role in 2019. 

“If their talents are real, if it’s what you and I see in those practice settings then more times than not it, comes to fruition in year two. I think we all saw things from James Conner on the practice field in year one. There was not a lot of tangible evidence that would give us an indication that he would be a Pro Bowler in 2018, but he was. So, he will be given that opportunity, he being James Washington, along with the others in his class.”

  • TCU DE Ben Banogu has a worked scheduled with the Steelers. (Tony Pauline)

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