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TDBH: Bengals keep free-agent haul rolling with two former top 10 picks

Posted Mar 22, 2018

This Day Bengals History - March 23, 2012


After landing three starters and a veteran third cornerback, the Bengals shift their free-agency focus today with four deals aimed at shoring up depth and opening up next month's NFL Draft as they continue an aggressive offseason drawing praise from around the league.  While announcing the re-signing of a pair of key first-off-the-bench backups in cornerback Adam Jones and tackle Anthony Collins, as well as the addition of Broncos defensive end Derrick Harvey today, they also agree to terms with Colts defensive end Jamaal Anderson. With the NFL meetings set for next week in Palm Beach, Fla., the Bengals may be announcing another signing over the weekend, jacking the new deals to about $20 million counting against the 2012 salary cap since free agency opens 10 days ago.

ESPN.com says the Bengals are the team in the AFC North that's improved the most since March 13 "and it's not even close." The web site says none of the teams have splashed but calls the Bengals re-signing of safety Reggie Nelson the best move in the division and the signing of Patriots running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis the splashiest arrival in the North. The signings of Harvey and Anderson are particularly intriguing since they are pass rushers drafted in the top ten looking for a fresh start. Anderson, 26, the eighth pick of the Falcons in 2007, is coming off a career-high three-sack season in Indianapolis. Harvey, 25, the eighth pick a year later, is also working on his third team. He has just eight sacks in three seasons in Jacksonville before moving to Denver last season, where he has no sacks in 92 snaps. "I think both guys are very athletically talented; they have a chance to come in to our guys and make us better," Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis will say at the meetings. "If they can play at the level and restart their careers and bring them to the level of athleticism. We were looking to get younger and add depth (for backups) and we did that.”

The spate of signings has given Lewis a boost as the Bengals head into the second year of the Green-Dalton Era that has already yielded last year’s surprising rookie year post-season berth. Now they are lengthening out the roster.  "I'm real excited about what we've done. We basically were able to go out and sign pretty much the guys we hoped to sign," Lewis says. "I think our people have done a great job of getting the guys signed so far. We've built the depth back up that we lost. We still have ways to continue that with the draft and we did it without handcuffing ourselves or pushing us one way or the other when the draft comes around."

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