The Cincinnati Bengals made a heck of a signing in getting Karlos Dansby for what they're paying.
According to ESPN's Coley Harvey, Dansby's one-year deal with the Bengals includes a $1 million base salary, a $700,000 signing bonus, a $200,000 roster bonus and $100,000 workout bonus. He also can make up to $250,000 in incentive. That means the deal would max out at $2,250,000.
More than anything, that deal shows how much Dansby cares about getting a Super Bowl ring compared to scoring as much money as possible before his career ends. His 2016 pay will be more resembling of a rookie or lower-tier veteran like Brandon Tate, so it's clear the 34-year-old backer is starving for a ring as his career winds down.
Aside from a three-year stint with the Miami Dolphins and two years with the Cleveland Browns, Dansby has spent most of his career with the Arizona Cardinals, who brought him in as a second-round pick in 2004. He stayed there through 2009 before going to Miami, only to return to the desert for his 2013 campaign.
Dansby is now entering his 14th season after being released by the Browns on March 16th. That came after he signed a four-year deal with the club in 2014. He had a good 2015 season while racking up 108 tackles, two forced fumbles and three interceptions on the year.
But Cleveland was more interested in a youth movement as they undergo a complete rebuild, so keeping Dansby around wasn't on their to-do list. The Bengals signing is a great move, given his vast experience, leadership and ability to play multiple backer spots in Cincinnati's 4-3 defense.
Dansby also will provide depth and stability at a position that will be very thin to open the 2016 season. Vontaze Burfict will serve a three-game suspension to open the season, while hybrid backer/safety Taylor Mays is also out the first four games with a suspension. Emmanuel Lamur left in free agency this offseason after getting a lot of the SAM backer snaps the past two seasons.
Over his career, Dansby has recorded 1,208 tackles, 41 sacks, 69 pass defenses, 19 interceptions, six defensive scores and 18 forced fumbles. He's easily been one of the best linebackers of the past decade, and now he'll look to end his career on a high note while helping the Bengals as they attempt to finish next season by hoisting a Lombardi Trophy.