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Holmes: Bengals are close to a deal with offensive guard Bobbie Williams

So far, the Bengals got Tank Johnson back, have spoken with Roy Williams' agent about his return. But the one player that the Bengals want to return most of all, is offensive guard Bobbie Williams.

PFT (via Carlos Holmes through the Middletown Journal), writes that the Bengals are close to retaining their free agent guard. Holmes writes:

According to a source with knowledge of the situation, the Cincinnati Bengals are close to a deal with offensive guard Bobbie Williams. The unrestricted free agent Williams has been a fixture along the Bengals offensive line since joining the club March 26, 2004.

Williams will 34-years old this year and will likely sign a deal that would keep him in Cincinnati for the remainder of his career. Williams is known as a leader on the field and in the locker room.

The Bengals have expressed interest in guard Chester Pitts. It's unknown if the interest was a result of a contingency plan in case Bobbie Williams leaves, or a general effort to upgrade left guard that's rotated the past two seasons by Evan Mathis and Nate Livings in 2009 and Andrew Whitworth in 2008. Williams has been confident that he'll return to Cincinnati when he said on March 6:

“There’s never a question that I want to come back,” said Williams, 33, who has missed only three starts since he arrived in 2004 as a free agent. “I can say talks are definitely going in the right direction and we’ll see how it goes. I hope to be there by the time we start workouts March 29.”

Either way, much like the Tank Johnson deal, signing Williams back is good news because it prevents the Bengals from addressing guards in free agency and the draft allowing them to focus on other areas of the team's roster. And really, is there better options out there than Tank and Bobbie in free agency?