Bengals, Williams agree

3-6-01 BY GEOFF HOBSON

The Bengals landed their first free-agent Tuesday when agent Jimmy Sexton said former Vikings defensive tackle Tony Williams has agreed in principle to a deal that puts him next to Oliver Gibson in the middle of the line for the next four years

The total deal has been reported nationally as $11 million with a $4 million signing bonus and officially took the Bengals out of the running for quarterback Elvis Grbac.

The Bengals withdrew from the Grbac negotiations late Monday night, but agent Jim Steiner said he was still interested in Cincinnati before landing a five-year, $30 million deal in Baltimore late Tuesday afternoon.

The Bengals are thrilled with the Williams pickup because of his potential upside. After four seasons in Minnesota where the 6-1, 290-pounder became a solid three-down player, Williams was one of the hot players on the board because of his age. He doesn't turn 26 until July 9.

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