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Schefter: Bengals Reach Deal With Former Raiders LB Thomas Howard

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As we are all shocked by the news that the Bengals all-time leading receiver, Chad Ochocinco, has been traded to the New England Patriots and as we are all waiting on the news of whether or not the team is going to re-sign cornerback Johnathan Joseph and running back Cedric Benson, comes this news: the Bengals have signed former Raiders linebacker Thomas Howard.

More Bengals moves: Former Raiders LB Thomas Howard reached agreement with Cincinnati on a two-year, $6.5 million contract.less than a minute ago via UberSocial for BlackBerry Favorite Retweet Reply

Howard was a second-round pick in 2006, and in his five years he's made 390 tackles (324 solo), sacked the quarterback four times, forced four fumbles, intercepted seven passes and recorded two touchdowns.

The news that Howard has been signed to a two-year $6.5 million contract with the team likely means the end of the Dhani Jones and Brandon Johnson era in Cincinnati. Rey Maualuga will move to the middle linebacker position and Brandon Johnson, who is looking to start at linebacker, will probably look to sign elsewhere. 

The 2011 offense and defense is beginning to take shape.