Both Trevor Robinson and Kyle Cook took snaps as the Bengals' starting center in 2012 and both played fairly well. Cook would have started, but when he was hurt during the preseason, the Bengals turned to free agent Jeff Faine. But after Faine was injured, the team turned to undrafted free agent rookie Trevor Robinson.
Now it's unclear who the starting center will be in 2013.
On the roster:
Cook was an undrafted free agent in 2007 by the Minnesota Vikings. He played in the team's preseason games but was released. He was then signed to the Bengals' practice squad. He played on special teams in 2008 but was placed on injured reserve. He didn't make his debut at center until 2009, when he won the starting job in the preseason. He started in 2010 and 2011 as well. He would have been the starter in 2012 had it not been for his injury. He did come back as the team's starter beginning on Dec. 9 and finished out the year.
After Faine was injured, the team turned to Robinson. Even though he was a rookie and an undrafted free agent, Robinson played surprisingly well as the team's center. He started in Weeks 9 through 15 and also started the team's Week 17 game against the Ravens. Cook started the team's playoff game, though.
Johnson was the team's second seventh-round pick in 2013 out of South Carolina. He signed his rookie contract with the Bengals on Monday.
Not on the roster:
Mario Benavides attended the Bengals' rookie minicamp as an undrafted and unsigned rookie on a tryout basis. He has not been offered a contract with the Bengals as of now.
The center is one of the most important positions on any offensive line as they change blocking schemes based on their read of the defensive front seven. Cook is likely the favorite, especially if he's healthy, heading into the 2013 season, but Robinson has earned his right to compete for a starting job.
The first team Organized Team Activities (OTAs) are scheduled for May 20.