Bengals "Closing In" on Deals With CB Adam Jones And LB Rey Maualuga

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

One is popular, the other not so much. Regardless the Bengals are making an effort to bring Adam Jones and Rey Maualuga back to Cincinnati.

Based on a variety of conjecture Friday evening, you had the feeling that something would happen soon with linebacker Rey Maualuga and cornerback Adam Jones, two of Cincinnati's free agents from last year's starting lineup. According to reports, talks between linebacker Rey Maualuga were moving well and speculation (from Joe Reedy with the Cincinnati Enquirer) hinted that something significant could happen with cornerback Adam Jones relatively soon.

Both appear to still be on track.

According to Geoff Hobson with Bengals.com, the "indications" are that the team is "closing in on deals" for cornerback Adam Jones and linebacker Rey Maualuga.

Jones would figure prominently in a three-cornerback system, teamed with Leon Hall and Dre Kirkpatrick. Re-introducing Terence Newman, who is currently in a holding pattern, only adds to the team's overall depth instituted last season -- except this time Kirkpatrick is healthy and two seasons into his young NFL career.

Maualuga, on the other hand, could be set as the team's newest SAM linebacker after the departure of Manny Lawson to the Buffalo Bills. However, it's possible that Maualuga also plays a backup MIKE role while determining the newest starting middle linebacker. Popular theory remains that second-year backer Vontaze Burfict moves inside, but we're not absolutely sure that's Cincinnati's plans right now (based on how well he played, why try to fix two positions rather than one... you know, like what happened with Maualuga).

Cincinnati's top-priority remains the re-signing of Andre Smith. But since the starting right tackle is represented by the same agent that represents Jake Long, it's believed Cincinnati will be waiting until Long decides between the St. Louis Rams and Miami Dolphins.

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