Bengals announce Rudi running through '09

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE; WED., MARCH 16, 2005 FROM CINCINNATI BENGALS PUBLIC RELATIONS

BENGALS AND HB RUDI JOHNSON AGREE ON FIVE-YEAR CONTRACT

HB Rudi Johnson, who set a Bengals record last season with 1454 rushing yards, today signed a five-year Cincinnati contract, running through the 2009 season.

The deal replaces a one-year contract for 2005 that Johnson had signed on March 7. That contract was the one-year tender which was due Johnson under terms of the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement when the team named him its franchise player on Feb. 15.

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis had said on March 7 that discussions would continue toward a long-term deal. Those talks concluded successfully today, the last day on which the two sides were allowed to negotiate until July 15, under the franchise player regulations of the league's Collective Bargaining Agreement.

"We are excited to have extended Rudi's contract," said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. "He has been a very productive player, as well as a winning person, for our football team. He's to be commended for his part in keeping the core of our offensive unit together."

Johnson joins three other key Bengals offensive players -- QB Carson Palmer, WR Chad Johnson and WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh -- in having signed with the team through at least 2008.

"I'm happy to have this done, and to know I'm going to be a part of this team for at least five more years," Johnson said. "This is where I've wanted to be all along. Now I can focus on what we're going to do on the field. I'm looking forward to getting together with my teammates and doing some great things this season."

Johnson's 1454-yard rushing total in 2004 broke the Bengals record of 1435 that Corey Dillon had set in 2000. Johnson set another Bengals record with 361 carries during the '04 season, bettering the mark of 340 that Dillon had posted in 2001.

Johnson tied the team record for 100-yard rushing games in a season (5), and he came within a hair of setting a new mark in that category, posting additional games of 99, 98 and 95 yards. He led the Bengals in touchdowns with 12.

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