The Cincinnati Bengals have announced the signings of defensive end Will Clarke and running back Jeremy Hill.
The addition of Hill sets in motion the potentially deadly trio of Hill, Bernard, and Green-Ellis that will all contribute in pounding the rock next season. Each running back brings their own skill set to the table, and Hill brings an every-down inside punch that the Bengals have been missing. He was also LSU's third best receiver, showing the pass-catching ability out of the backfield that is becoming more important for the modern running back.
The numbers of the deal are yet to be disclosed, so we are still waiting for updates on those details of his contract. However, as a reference, Spotrac.com has last years 55th pick, TE Vance McDonald listed as signing a four-year, 3.60 million deal that included $997, 584 as a signing bonus.
Coley Harvey of ESPN reports that Hill will likely end up taking up about $680, 000 of cap space in 2014, according to the rookie wage scale as part of last year's collective bargaining agreement. Bonuses will also be spread across the four-year deal that could top $1 million this season. Of course, the base salary will rise over the course of his deal.
As for Clarke, the 6-foot-6, 271 pounder out of West Virginia notched six quarterback sacks, 17 tackles for loss, three passes defensed and one forced fumble this past season. He's a long list of athletic freaks that the Bengals love at defensive end.
He sets the edge well and has good burst off the line, but needs to work on his ability to shed blocks before he's ready to contribute at the NFL level.
With Hill and Clarke now signed, that leaves just cornerback Darqueze Dennard unsigned. The Bengals will open Phase III of OTAs with at least seven of their eight draft picks signed.