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Lewis hopeful on Perry; CFAs ink

Updated: 9:45 p.m.

Invigorated by how their running backs have looked in the offseason, the Bengals surprised even themselves when they didn't take one when they completed the 2008 draft at Paul Brown Stadium Sunday night.

Later in the night they did sign Ohio State fullback Ty Whaley to a free-agent deal.

When the Bengals had seven picks left Sunday morning, head coach Marvin Lewis predicted they would take a running back.

But when the dust cleared, Lewis said he hoped Chris Perry would be on the field for the first time in May since his rookie year for voluntary workouts and the offense had added three receivers, a tackle and the first drafted tight end in Lewis' six drafts.

"Early on, we had some discussions about a couple of guys but chose other positions where there was a bigger need and easier fit," Lewis said. "We feel good where we are. The guys we have coming back worked out great this offseason. Rudi Johnson has something to prove, which is big. He is a prideful young man. DeDe Dorsey didn't get much of an opportunity last year. Kenny Watson made the most of his opportunity. Chris Perry will have the chance to compete for a job. We will continue at this point status quo."

Which means, unless somebody struggles in the voluntaries, there won't be a veteran free agent added like Shaun Alexander.

Perry hasn't been on the field consistently since he dislocated his ankle in November of 2006 in Cleveland.

A Mobile, Ala., newspaper reported Sunday night that
Alabama cornerback Simeon Castille and offensive lineman Justin Britt each agreed to a free agent deal with the Bengals. Britt said he chose Cincinnati over offers from the Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Bucs.

Castille is the son of former NFL player Jeremiah Castille. He has good hands with 12 career interceptions and plays the run well, accordng to *Pro Football Weekly.


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