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Alexander to visit

Posted: 1:15 p.m.

The agent for Shaun Alexander said Thursday that his client is scheduled to visit the Bengals on Monday, but Jim Steiner stressed the visit is "very preliminary."

"Shaun wants to get an idea how the Bengals would use him and I'm sure the Bengals would like to talk to him," Steiner said. "But there is interest on both sides."

The Bengals, who usually only keep three tailbacks, have a lot to figure out, as does Alexander.

If Rudi Johnson and Chris Perry are healthy, what to do they do with Kenny Watson and DeDe Dorsey if they sign Alexander?

Alexander, who turns 31 after the last preseason game, isn't the same back that led the Seahawks to the Super Bowl a few years ago and any deal would be contingent on a physical.

He broke his wrist in last season's opener and after he twisted his knee and ankle in Week 9 he finished with 716 yards rushing on 3.5 per carry. He became the eighth player in history to rush for 100 career touchdowns in the season finale.

His strengths are that he's a solid guy, adds another dimension in the passing game with terrific hands, has had tremendous production in the past, and his wrist is apparently healed.

Plus, he's still The Man around these parts. Alexander, a Florence, Ky. native, set state records of 3,166 rushing yards and 54 touchdowns at Boone County High School.

And Johnson is also coming off an injury plagued season, Perry hasn't played in a game since November of 2006, and Kenny Irons isn't ready to work out in May and June.

The Bengals don't have much to give Alexander because of their salary cap situation, and he also has to figure out how he wants to get paid after years as one of the top paid backs in the league.

If the Bengals are going to make a move, it would probably be before on-field voluntary workouts start May 13.

FREE AGENT CALL: The Bengals have yet to announce their list of college free agents, but the most intriguing signing looks to be Alabama cornerback Simeon Castille after he logged 12 interceptions as a two-year starter.

The list is going to be announced when the Bengals open their rookie camp Friday morning.

An Alabama newspaper reported the signing of the 6-0, 195-pound Castille after the Bengals apparently mulled taking him as early as the fourth round and maybe he'll end up as a guy that can play both corner and safety.

Ourlads Scouting Services, which projected him going to Buffalo as a free safety with the eighth pick in the fifth round, gave him a grade of 6.75 (out of 10), fifth-highest of the free safeties.

He probably went undrafted after he was timed at 4.71 seconds in the 40-yard dash and there could be a position switch involved, but he does get favorable reviews for his versatility. With the Bengals dogged by bad tackling the past couple of seasons, Castille also gets good reviews for being a good run defender.

"A strong run support player," Ourlads says. "Has fluid hips and good athletic ability to cover a slot receiver. Can stick his foot in the ground and drive on the ball ... a good athlete that makes plays. Top end speed is only real down side."

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