The Cincinnati Bengals are suddenly becoming more active in free agency now that the first wave of signings have been made. At this point, you're not going to find any star-caliber free agents left to sign, and the best you can hope for at this point is to find a borderline-starter or a quality backup.
R.J. Stanford would fit that bill, and he's signing with the Bengals, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun and National Football Post.
A defensive back by way of Utah, Stanford played for the Miami Dolphins the previous two seasons after two years with the Carolina Panthers. He has 39 career tackles, one pass deflection and one interception. He's been a career backup and special-teamer who only figures to add depth behind Adam Jones, Terence Newman, Leon Hall (once healthy) and probably Dre Kirkpatrick.
Stanford began his college career as a running back before transitioning to the cornerback position midway through his freshman year. He ran a 4.29 40-time in college and played nickleback most of his collegiate career.
At 5'10" and 190 pounds, he figures to be just that for the Bengals, especially if Hall opens the year on PUP. Hall has transitioned to the slot primarily over the past few years, so Stanford could help there.
At the end of the day, this probably won't affect the Bengals draft plans, and they'll be looking hard at a host of corners with the 24th-overall pick that probably comes down to TCU's Jason Verrett, Ohio State's Bradley Roby and Virginia Tech's Kyle Fuller.
The draft's top corners - Darqueze Dennard and Justin Gilbert -- are projected to be off the board by the time the Bengals select at No. 24.
According to Pro Football Focus, Stanford played 26 defensive snaps in 2013 and registered a +1.0 grade. He played 149 snaps in 2012 and had a -4.9 grade. This is likely a minimal contract he's signed that's non-guaranteed and won't affect draft compensation the Bengals hope to get for losing Michael Johnson and Anthony Collins.
Don't rule out Stanford playing some safety either, but his greatest impact will probably be on special teams.