04-25-2001-UNKNOWN

4-25-01, 10:55 p.m.

BY GEOFF HOBSON

Even before cornerback Walt Harris re-signed with the Bears Wednesday, the Bengals re-tooled their offer to Chargers cornerback DeRon Jenkins.

Jim Lippincott, the Bengals director of pro/college personnel, said the club has taken out the right-of-first refusal clause in its one-year offer to Jenkins.

The Bengals gave Harris a choice of two deals, including a one-year proposal of

$2 million. He decided to take a one-year deal in Chicago, which included a $1 million signing bonus, $500,000 salary, and $400,000 more in incentives.

"We were told that he decided to stay in Chicago because his wife is pregnant and they thought it was best to stay."

The Bengals also offered Harris what amounted to a three-year deal averaging $2.3 million in their bid to secure a veteran cornerback.

Last weekend's NFL Draft is the first one since 1997 in which the Bengals didn't draft a cornerback. Head coach Dick LeBeau said he feels confident going into minicamp with the crew that finished last season without a clear-cut starter.

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