Update: Quick signings?; Bengals brace for speed; PFT says Bell retires; Claim 2 off waivers

Posted May 8, 2012

Updated: 5-9-12, 12:55 p.m.

With the Bengals rookies coming into town Thursday, the team figures to try and get signatures on contracts for at least some of its draft picks. For instance, it's believed the Bengals are close to a deal with Boise State safety George Iloka, a fifth-round pick.

BRACE FOR SPEED: When the Bengals rookies convene for their first of five workouts Friday morning in Paul Brown Stadium, the little-known guys are going to make their presence felt with their speed. Especially at wide receiver, led by a pair of free agents.

Connecticut's Kashif Moore clocked 4.42 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, but has been timed as low as 4.32. New Mexico State's Taveon Rogers wasn't invited to Indianapolis but ran a 4.33-second 40 at his March workout for pro scouts. That would have matched the combine's top 40, run by Central Florida cornerback Josh Robinson.  

Throw in fifth-rounder Marvin Jones of California with a 4.46-second number in Indy and receivers coach James Urban is going to need a track suit.

"The more you can get the better; let's see it," Urban said of the speed.

It looks like the Bengals are in no hurry to add a veteran to their young receiver corps, although they could before everyone gets on the field May 22 for the start of voluntary workouts.

Despite Monday's reports that the Bengals have expressed interest in Braylon Edwards, it's hard to tell when they did. As of Tuesday morning there didn't appear to be a workout or visit set up.

At 29, Edwards is reportedly coming off knee and shoulder injuries and if the Bengals bring him in he'll no doubt undergo medical scrutiny reserved for presidents and prime ministers. The last time they signed a 29-year-old wide receiver coming off a knee injury, Antonio Bryant wasn't healthy enough to play a snap in 2010.

Edwards, the third pick in the 2005 draft, has been on three teams in the last three years and the 49ers chose not to bring him back when the 35-year-old Randy Moss came out of retirement.

Former Texans wide receiver Jacoby Jones is another veteran that may be on Cincinnati's radar, but it doesn't appear the Bnegals have jumped in on his travel agenda yet that has already hit Carolina and Baltimore.

Speed won't be reserved just for the offense this weekend.

Western Kentucky's Derrius Brooks, who switched from receiver to cornerback in 2010, ran 4.29 seconds at his pro day after he trained in the suburban Cincinnati gym Ignition. The 5-10, 192-pound Brooks also vertically jumped 38 inches, which according to the Hilltoppers Web site would have been the third-highest leap by a defensive back at the combine.

If he gets in a jump ball with Moore, it should be interesting. Published reports had Moore's vertical at the combine 43.5 inches, an inch and a half off the combine record.

BELL RETIRES: Less than a month after signing a one-year deal with the Bengals, guard Jacob Bell retired in a story reported by on Tuesday. It's believed that Bell informed the club late last week, but as of Tuesday morning retirement papers had not been filed.

Citing a source PFT reported that Bell, 31, an eight-year veteran had lost his desire. The Bengals have lost 100 games of experience, but when Cincinnati took Wisconsin's Kevin Zeitler in the first round of the draft and indicated he was the starter at right guard things got a little murky with eight-year veteran Travelle Wharton at left guard, Bell's usual position. Plus, returning is last year's fourth-round pick, Clint Boling, and the 2010 fifth-rounder Otis Hudson, along with Andre Smith, the guy the Bengals thought was their most improved lineman last training camp until he injured his knee.

ADD TWO: The Bengals claimed two players off waivers Tuesday in former Bengals guard Chris Riley from Tampa Bay and defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga from Washington. The 6-4, 304-pound Riley is classified as a first-year NFL player, making him eligible for this weekend's rookie minicamp. Players who haven't logged enough roster time for one year of NFL service can be in the rookie camp. Riley signed with the Bengals as a college free agent prior to the last training camp and was waived Sept. 3 after playing in all four preseason games. He was signed to Tampa Bay’s practice squad and finished the year before being signed to the Bucs offseason roster. The 6-1, 294-pound Meatoga is a rookie out of Hawaii and was cut four days after the Redskins signed him as an undrafted free agent.


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