Angelo Wright, the agent for unrestricted free agent DE Jonathan Fanene, says his client, who had 6.5 sacks in 2012, wants to return to the Bengals, according to Bengals.com. "Jon loves the team, loves the city, and we've heard they'd like him back," Wright told the team's web site. "We're ready for either that or to go to market."
This statement comes shortly after there have been swirling rumors about the New England Patriots possibly being interested in the veteran defensive lineman. ESPN Boston writer, Mike Reiss notes that with the Patriots' need for pass-rushers and Fanene being a hard-working and effective utility player, he could fit the Bill Belichick mold.
Fanene, the only member of Cincinnati's 2005 draft class to remain in the NFL, played well last season as a part of the defensive line rotation. While he only started only two games in 2012, he managed to compile 6.5 sacks--second only to Geno Atkins--and recovered two fumbles. Fanene played 2011 on a one year, $1.2 million contract and will be 30 years old at the beginning of the 2012 campaign.
The defensive line was the strength of the Bengals in 2011, and with his pass rushing ability, Jonathan Fanene proved his worth to the unit. Considering his production, he will likely want more than a one year deal, but signing Fanene will be relatively cheap. His heart is in Cincinnati, and he wants to come back. Let's get it done.