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Russell Bodine signs with Cincinnati Bengals

As of now, Russell Bodine will likely challenge Mike Pollak for the vacant starting center spot with the Cincinnati Bengals.

After releasing starter Kyle Cook earlier this offseason, the Cincinnati Bengals needed to get a center at some point in the 2014 NFL Draft.

They did so by swapping fourth-round picks with the Seattle Seahawks, along with sending Seattle their No. 199 pick (sixth-round) to select North Carolina center Russell Bodine.

On Friday, the team announced they signed Bodine to a 4-year deal, meaning the team now has five of their eight draft picks locked up.

Bodine was the bench press king at the NFL Combine, going 42 reps at 225 pounds. He uses that strength on the field to bully opponents, and former Tar Heels teammate Giovani Bernard is glad Bodine is a Bengal.

"When you have one of those guys that’s very physical and very kind of in-your-face, it’s always good for an offensive line," said Bernard. "He’s a guy that’s not going to back down from anyone. That’s the kind of guy you want on your team."

Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander believes Bodine is exactly the kind of center Cincinnati has been searching for to compete in the physical AFC North.

"He’s worth it," says offensive line coach Paul Alexander. "He’s a guy that, honestly, we’ve been looking for for some time. He’s got a little different style. They’re all good players. But he’s one we’ve kind of been looking for."

As of now, Bodine will likely challenge Mike Pollak for the vacant starting center spot, though Pollak has the early edge.