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Update: Zeitler in fold; Bengals retain Joiner

Posted May 25, 2012


Kevin Zeitler

Update: 3:20 p.m.

The Bengals are down to their two third-rounders left to sign of their 10 draft picks, and rookie right guard Kevin Zeitler is headed to a dealership.

The Bengals signed their second first-rounder in a week Friday when Zeitler inked the standard four-year deal and now he's thinking about owning his first car.

"My younger brother owned one before me. I just never really needed one or thought about it," said Zeitler, who chose to hoof it at Wisconsin. "The parking in Madison is crazy and expensive. It's not worth it. When I went home I'd borrow my parents'. Now I'll be able to get one and pay some bills."

Zeitler had no worries about this thing. "There's nothing to negotiate. It's all slotted. There's no timetable," he said, so he's had plenty of time to think about the first week of voluntary on-field work that finished Thursday. As the starter, he's been spending a lot of time talking to center Kyle Cook.

Zeitler, the 27th player taken 10 picks behind Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, is the first guard taken by the Bengals in the first round. They took North Carolina tackle Brian Blados with the 28th pick in 1984 and played him at both guard and tackle.  

"The big thing is communication, so I'm trying to get used to the veterans," Zeitler said. "(Cook) has been great, helping me with the calls. There's a lot to get used to and I'm looking forward to spending all summer trying to get it done."

He'll get another shot after the Memorial Day weekend when the Bengals hit the field again Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with the Tuesday workout the only one open to the media. There'll be two media days the next week when the Bengals work the four days from June 4-7 to set up the June 12-14 mandatory minicamp.

Earlier in the week they signed sixth-rounder Daniel Herron, the running back from Ohio State. That leaves left to sign Rutgers wide receiver Mohamed Sanu and Clemson defensive tackle Brandon Thompson.

BENGALS RETAIN JOINER: Citing support ranging from his college head coach to Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe, the Bengals are also standing by Arkansas State linebacker Brandon Joiner and are retaining his rights that go beyond this season.

Joiner, who signed a free-agent contract with the Bengals last month after being named the Sun Belt Co-Defensive Player of the Year, was sentenced this week to three years in prison stemming from a 2007 incident when he was a freshman at Texas A&M and the club says it is unlikely he'll play this year.

According to theeagle.com in Bryan-College Station, Tex., Joiner was indicted for two counts of aggravated robbery and one charge of felony drug possession about a month after police said he and another former A&M player broke into an apartment and robbed a drug dealer at gunpoint.

The web site said Joiner was already serving probation for the first count of aggravated robbery — a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison — when he was sentenced Wednesday. The second count was reduced to robbery, the site said.

The Bengals, as well as his supporters, have been impressed by Joiner's heavy community service and his clean record in the aftermath of the incident. In a statement they released Friday, the Bengals said they're going to keep Joiner on the roster.

"Brandon must serve a sentence for a crime he was convicted of in 2007 -- when he was 18," the Bengals said. "But his positive actions during the past five years, including significant community service work, graduation from Arkansas State University and an unblemished subsequent behavior record, have generated a group of active supporters that includes Mike Beebe, the Governor of Arkansas, and Hugh Freeze, Brandon’s head coach at Arkansas State and now head coach at Mississippi. In kind, the Bengals support Brandon's future opportunity for a career in the NFL."

Jay Granberry, Joiner’s attorney, told theeagle.com that with good behavior Joiner could be paroled in six to nine months.

“Since this incident, Brandon has conducted himself in an exemplary fashion and I’m sure he will continue to do that,” Granberry told theeagle.com. “There are a lot of people rooting for Brandon and I’m convinced he’s not going to let anyone down.”

 

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