Updated: 5:40 p.m.
Within hours of digesting the mechanics of the new rookie pool, the Bengals made A.J. Green the highest drafted player with a deal when they agreed to terms with their first-rounder.
They made the deal official Thursday evening, as well as the signings of of fifth-rounder Robert Sands, safety from West Virginia, seventh-rounder Korey Lindsey, a cornerback from Southern Illinois, and sixth-rounder Ryan Whalen, wide receiver from Stanford.
On the cornerback front the Bengals still looked to be in the Johnathan Joseph sweepstakes, which has shifted with the whims of teams pursuing Nnamdi Asomugha. At varying times Wednesday the Jets and Texans looked to be in the lead. Although the Texans have been hot and heavy with Joseph, it may be coming down to the Lions and Bengals. The Eagles filled their need when they picked up Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the Kevin Kolb trade with Arizona.
The Bengals continue to talk to a group of their own free agents, running backs Cedric Benson and Brian Leonard, as well as defensive lineman Jon Fanene. They've also touched base with linebacker Brandon Johnson.
And then there is Chad Ochocinco, the subject of an intriguing post by ProFootballTalk.com in which he hinted he's going to the Patriots. The Bengals have yet to cut him and he remains under contract, but PFT uncovered a direct message tweet that said “Media knows nothing but I’m going to enjoy clam chowder.” The Ocho has gone underground the past few days on Twitter, but he succeeded in picking up a mini-media Twitter cloud in Boston.
The four-year agreement with Green, a wide receiver from Georgia, was reported at a four-year, fully guaranteed $19.6 million and came to the delight of receivers coach James Urban and offensive coordinator Jay Gruden as they scramble to get five rookie receivers up to speed with a playbook they have yet to teach them with the first practice little more than 48 hours away.
Urban met with Green on Thursday morning as the Bengals gathered for physicals before reporting to Georgetown College on Friday. Thursday is considered the first day of training camp, meaning the team can go in pads Sunday in a practice that has yet to have a time.
"I can't wait to see the great physical abilities we saw," Urban said. "The great playmaking abilities. Can't wait to see that on a daily basis. Having conversations this whole offseason with Jay with what we envision with him, I can't wait to see how he runs a shallow cross and how does that fit. I've got about 50 concepts I want to see with him. Love seeing that total receiver.
"He's handled himself like a professional through this. I know he's ready to roll."
There are rookies all over the place. Urban is in intrigued with the arrival of undrafted free agent Bart Johnson, one of rookie quarterback Andy Dalton's main men at TCU; a guy he says has Jordan Shipley-type hands and game.
"Doesn't drop anything," Dalton said this week.
The signings left second-rounder, TCU quarterback Andy Dalton, third-rounder, Nevada linebacker Dontay Moch, and fourth-rounder, Georgia guard Clint Boling unsigned. It appears the Bengals are closing in on a deal with seventh-rounder Jay Finely, running back from Baylor.
They also released the names of the 17 college free agents that included Johnson and headlined by South Dakota State tight end Colin Cochart, a 6-4 260-pounder regarded as an excellent athlete. A combine invite, he ran 4.73 and 4.71 seconds in the 40-yard dash at his pro day and added a 35-inch vertical 29 reps of 225 pounds.
The CFA list:
--Colin Cochart, TE, 6-4, 260; South Dakota State; Kewaunee, Wis.
--Landon Cox, WR, 6-3, 220; Northern Illinois; Calumet City, Ill.
--Neal Dahlman, LS, 6-1, 237; Bowling Green; New Lenox, Ill.
--Keith Darbut, LB, 6-5, 235; Baldwin-Wallace; Miami, Fla.
--Dequin Evans, LB, 6-3, 256; Kentucky; Long Beach, Calif.
--Stephen Franklin, LB, 6-0, 235; Southern Illinois; Kansas City, Mo.
--John Griffin, HB, 5-10, 208; Massachusetts; Westminster, Mass.
--Jamere Holland, WR, 6-0, 192; Lindenwood; Pacoima, Calif.
--Bart Johnson, WR, 6-0, 195; TCU; Brownwood, Texas
--Brian Lainhart, S, 6-1, 207; Kent State; Cincinnati, Ohio
--Lolomana Mikaele, DT, 6-2, 305; Arizona; Honolulu, Hawaii
--Matthew O’Donnell, OT, 6-9, 340; Queens (Canada); Kingston, Ontario
--Chris Riley, G, 6-5, 305; Illinois State; Wadsworth, Ill.
--Steven Robinson, HB, 6-2, 220; Hampton; Buford, Ga.
--Thomas Weber, K, 6-1, 207; Arizona State; Downey, Calif.
--Mark Wetterer, G, 6-5, 319; Louisville; Cincinnati, Ohio
--Jonathan Williams, HB, 6-1, 196; East Carolina; Greenville, N.C.