Kevin Minter (51): Tez 'deserves it.'
Middle linebacker Kevin Minter, who lockers and plays next to him, leaned on Vontaze Burfict's vacant locker and applauded the Bengals signing him up for three more years at nearly $39 million.
"Deservedly so. He's been of the top (inside) backers in this league for years," said Minter before Friday's walk-through at Paul Brown Stadium. "Regardless of that hit, I think he got what he deserves. He's one of the leaders of this team and definitely a leader of this defense.
"You get to know the guy when you see how he interacts, how he actually makes us better, you see his worth and they see it upstairs."
Burfict is serving his second three-game suspension for violating player safety rules, but head coach Marvin Lewis indicated the negotiations had been far along before the Aug. 19 hit on Kansas City fullback Anthony Sherman.
"Once they were involved in the process, it's hard for the team to go back and renege on it," Lewis said. "It's great for the planning for the club. In Mike's (Brown) mind, that helps them plan for the future of the team knowing he has that spot somewhat solidified."
Minter signed a one-year deal back in March and admits he wondered what he would find with Burfict when he arrived from Arizona. Plus, they were working on one-year deals at the same position. Talk about a pleasant surprise.
"He's night and day how the media portrays him," Minter said. "He's a great guy. He's acclimated me to the playbook. He came right on in and helped me out with technique and how to play certain stuff here. He gets into the playbook. I respect him a lot."
Profootballtalk.com published deal that consists of some give and take on both sides. Along with a $3.3 million signing bonus, his salary for this season basically doubles to nearly $8 million, so he takes home nearly 10 million in 2017, which has to be considered guaranteed barring a suspension. He's got a Pro Bowl escalator that could bring him as much as $1.5 million.
-Lewis said after Friday's walk-through that rookie wide receiver John Ross (knee) could play Sunday against the Ravens (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12) after his second straight limited practice, but wouldn't say if he would. He was listed as questionable and starting safety Shawn Williams (elbow) and back-up tight end C.J. Uzomah (ankle) are out.
A visual look at the 2017 Bengals roster.