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Bengals sign Jake Fisher to rookie contract

Jake Fisher can play both offensive guard and tackle. That's the kind of versatility the Bengals love having in the trenches.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals have announced that Oregon offensive tackle Jake Fisher, who was selected with the No. 53 overall pick in the second round of this year's NFL draft, has signed his rookie contract.

Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, who was selected at No. 52 by the Miami Dolphins, signed a four-year deal worth $4.362 million with a singing bonus of $1.443 million and $2.5 million guaranteed. Figure that Fisher, who is the first offensive tackle that the Bengals used a second-round pick on since Andrew Whitworth in 2006, will earn something similar.

“We’re really excited about Jake,” said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. “He plays with great attitude, tremendous energy and passion. He’s got a great future with us, and he’ll get an opportunity to play this season.”

The Bengals selected two offensive tackles with their first two picks, forcing the obvious conclusion that Cincinnati was committed to a rebuilding project on the edges. This also led to Andrew Whitworth's public outbursts earlier this month.

Offensive line coach Paul Alexander spent time in Eugene during Oregon's pro day in March to scout Fisher and Cincinnati played host to him in April. Cincinnati's interest in Fisher grew in the weeks leading up to the draft, with SI's Peter King writing that Cincinnati "loved Fisher" and that "ace line coach Paul Alexander could mold the quick-footed Fisher into a long-term left tackle".

Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith, who are set to enter free agency next year, are projected as the team's starting tackles this season. Fisher could be the first backup at tackle and guard. Don't tell Fisher that though. He wants to play now.

Fisher started 13 games at left tackle during his final season in college and helped Oregon reach the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship game, losing to THE Ohio State University. In Fisher’s two missed games, both due to a leg injury, the Ducks gave up 12 of their season total of 31 sacks allowed. Fisher was named a first-team All-American last season by the Football Writers Association of America, and he played in 51 games in his Oregon career.

Fisher is the seventh among the Bengals’ nine draft choices to sign. Previously signed were LB P.J. Dawson of TCU (third round), CB Josh Shaw of Southern California (fourth), DT Marcus Hardison of Arizona State (fourth), TE C.J. Uzomah of Auburn (fifth), S Derron Smith of Fresno State (sixth) and WR Mario Alford of West Virginia (seventh).