Chatman deal official


The Bengals today signed free agent WR-KR Antonio Chatman to a two-year contract.

Chatman (5-9, 185; University of Cincinnati) is a fourth-year NFL player in 2006. He played the last three seasons with Green Bay, seeing action in all 51 Packers games (including three in postseason). He had no receptions as a first-year player in 2003, but caught 22-for-246 in 2004 and more than doubled those numbers last season at 49-for-549.

He ranked second on the Packers last season in both catches and receiving yards, and he was tied for second in touchdowns (5). In Green Bay's 21-14 loss at Cincinnati last season, he had 8 receptions for 97 yards and averaged 9.8 yards on four punt returns.

He has 110 career punt returns for an 8.2-yard average, including an 85-yard TD vs. Chicago last season which was the NFL's longest of the year. He also has 66 career kickoff returns for a 22.1 average. Last season, he averaged a career-high 8.5 yards on 45 punt returns and 18.2 yards on 5 kickoff returns.

Chatman's Green Bay contract expired after the 2005 season, and he became a free agent when the Packers declined to make a 2006 tender offer that would have made him a restricted free agent.

Chatman played two seasons (1999-2000) at the University of Cincinnati after transferring from junior college. He signed his first NFL contract with San Francisco in 2001 as a college free agent, but was released in training camp. He played the 2002-03 seasons for the Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League before joining the Packers for the '03 NFL season.

Chatman is the third veteran free agent signed by Cincinnati this year. Last week, the Bengals signed S Dexter Jackson, an unrestricted free agent from Tampa Bay, and S Anthony Mitchell, one of their own unrestricted free agents.

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