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Bengals Start Contract Negotiations With Johnathan Joseph

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One of the concerning questions heading into next year's offseason is what to do with Johnathan Joseph, who will be a free agent after this season. Then, if that wasn't enough, the Bengals will have to worry about their other starting cornerback Leon Hall, who is the second part of a cornerback duo that is one of the league's best who will also be heading into his final year (2011) under contract.

At least the Bengals are starting to push forward, being proactive rather than reactive. According to ESPN's James Walker, the Bengals are beginning negotiations with Joseph on a deal that could very well rival one of the richest cornerback contracts in the NFL.

Said Joseph:

"It shows positive signs," Joseph said of the negotiations. "It's one of those things that hopefully we can get it done. But if not, I'm here for the rest of this season and I'm focused on this season. I'm not that worried about it, but it's one of those things you'd like to get behind you."

Walker, through Joseph, says that the Bengals have actually made "two proposals in the past week."

If the team and cornerback gets a deal done, Cincinnati will most likely look towards getting running back Cedric Benson signed to a deal, if not Brandon Johnson. Only one safety is signed beyond 2010 and five linemen have contracts beyond this season also. Lots and lots to do.