The Bengals on Wednesday acquired QB John Skelton on waivers from Arizona. Skelton, a fourth-year NFL player in 2013, was a fifth-round Arizona draft pick out of Fordham in 2010. He played 20 games with 17 starts over three seasons with the Cardinals, including seven games with six starts last season. Over his first two seasons, he posted a 5-0 record as a starter in home games.
Skelton's career passing totals are 320-for-602 (53.2 percent) for 3707 yards with 15 TDs and 25 INTs.
He will compete with Zac Robinson and Josh Johnson, another newly-acquired Bengals QB, for the No. 2 spot behind starter Andy Dalton. Among the three candidates, Skelton has the edge in games played and started.
"We're glad to add John to cultivate a competitive situation behind Andy Dalton," said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. "He's a young player (age 25), but he has had valuable experience starting and leading a team in the NFL."
Skelton spoke via conference call with the Cincinnati media Wednesday afternoon, and said he is pleased to be finished with a hectic last couple days. "It's part of the game and the business," he said of his departure from Arizona, "but I think in the end Cincinnati will be a great fit for me.
"Change will be good for me, having coaches with experience in the quarterback position and what they have been able to do with Andy the past couple years. I'm kind of glad the rollercoaster is over, and I'm ready to start moving forward with Cincinnati."
Bengals fans are somewhat familiar with Skelton, who started at QB for the Cardinals in a 2011 Christmas Eve matchup against the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals narrowly edged out the Cardinals in the contest, but what most remember about that game is former Bengals wide receiver Jerome Simpson flipping into the endzone over Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington. "We were all in shock and awe on the sideline," Skelton recalled of Simpson's acrobatics.
But what most don't recall was a furious fourth-quarter Arizona comeback, led by Skelton. After three quarters, Arizona trailed 23-0. The Cardinals scored 16 fourth-quarter points, but came up just short when Cardinals WR Early Doucet fell in the endzone while adjusting to what would have been a game-tying TD late in the fourth quarter.
The memory of that contest still hasn't left Skelton. "I remember it was probably the worst first half a quarterback could have, followed by a pretty decent second half. But too little, too late."
In Cincinnati, Skelton will play in a West Coast scheme, employed by offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. He says that although he's never played in a West Coast scheme, he does bring a strong arm to the table. "I'm still young. I'm still learning the game. But when it comes to driving a 20-yard comeback or a crossing route down the field, that's a throw I'm comfortable making," he said.
Skelton also heaped praise on his former top target, WR Larry Fitzgerald, calling him a "great teammate" and a "consummate pro." And between the lines, he said he sees a little bit of Fitzgerald in new teammate A.J. Green. "He (Fitzgerald) kind of redefined what it is to be open, and I think A.J. is the same way -- big body, easy to target, easy to throw to. And he'll be just another weapon that I'll get the privilege to throw to."
He'll get his introduction soon enough. The Bengals voluntary offseason workout program begins Monday, April 15.
BENGALS RE-SIGN LB VINCENT REY
The Bengals today also announced the re-signing of linebacker Vincent Rey, whom the club had tendered as an exclusive rights player on March 7.
Rey, part of the core of the Bengals special teams unit, is a third-year NFL player in '13. He increased his role on defense for the Bengals last season, logging 18 tackles with a sack, and he ranked third on the team in special teams tackles (12). He first saw action for the Bengals in 2010, as a college free agent signee, and he has played in every Cincinnati game the last two seasons, including two postseason appearances.