Updated: 9:15 p.m.
GEORGETOWN, Ky. — When the Bengals reached a two-year deal in principle with Cardinals right guard Deuce Lutui on Friday night, they got a tough, proven and durable starter who fits well into the AFC North.
Lutui, 28, has made 72 starts, missed just two of 80 games, and has developed a reputation as a monstrous run blocker and an able pass protector for an offense two years removed from the Super Bowl. The Bengals have a tough, proven and durable guy at right guard already in Bobbie Williams, a guy that has missed just three games since he came to the Bengals in 2004 who turns 35 in September.
Born in Tonga, Lutui was a second-round pick of the Cards out of USC in 2006 and is friends with Bengals defenders Rey Maualuga and Domata Peko.
The agreement in principle with Lutui looks to be a good sign for right tackle Andre Smith. He didn't appear on any injury lists Friday and it looks like he'll line up at right tackle for Saturday afternoon's first practice after missing most of last season with his second broken foot.
The Bengals are still talking with running back Cedric Benson, but there is nothing new. It's believed the Bengals are also looking at cornerbacks as well as outside linebackers.
MARV, OCHO FINAL ACT:Now that The Ocho is gone, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is a little kinder and gentler.
"Chad had a great, great career here. He's a fine football player," Lewis said as he checked in at Georgetown College. "Obviously I was very close with Chad. Unfortunately that's a part of this. It's good for him to move on for his career. I wish him the best of luck and we've got to move on and close the chapter and turn the page and move on. He'll be fine."
Which is a long way from Lewis' take on The Ocho's MSL stint back in March.
"What has he ever done that he's completed? What circle has he ever connected?" Lewis asked then.
MORE SIGNS: The day the Bengals reported to Paul Brown Stadium this week, kicker Mike Nugent said his kicking leg felt as good going into this camp as it did the last one. Even though he's coming off an ACL reconstruction in his right knee, courtesy of the sickening onside kick in Indianapolis back on Nov. 14.
More proof came Friday when the Bengals cut Clint Stitser after he kicked in five games last year. They also cut wide receiver Shay Hodge and signed four restricted free agents and five exclusive rights free agents. None of them can practice until the collective bargaining agreement gets finalized on or about Aug. 4.
RFAs: center Kyle Cook, guard Nate Livings, quarterback Jordan Palmer and right tackle Dennis Roland. Exclusive rights: wide receiver Quan Cosby, long snapper Clark Harris, safety Tom Nelson, running back Cedric Peerman, and linebacker Dan Skuta.