The start of NFL free agency wasn’t great for Cincinnati, but Dre Kirkpatrick helped the Bengals finish day one of the official start to the new league year strong.
After news broke that Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler were leaving for new teams, it looked like Cincy was headed toward another offseason of heartbreak and defections. Then came word that Kirkpatrick had agreed to re-sign with the Bengals on a 5-year deal.
Terms of the new deal have yet to be disclosed, but it’s believed to be a deal that will pay him around $10 million annually. That’s what the Bengals were offering him before free agency began, and it appears no other team was willing to outbid that enough to pry Kirkpatrick away.
Kirkpatrick has endured an up-and-down NFL career thus far, spending most of his first three seasons riding the bench behind established veterans Adam Jones, Leon Hall and Terence Newman. But Kirkpatrick used that to his advantage to sit, learn and develop into the starting cornerback he is today.
Now, Kirkpatrick is set to be starting on the boundary in Cincinnati for the foreseeable future. Who starts next to him is anyone's guess right now with Adam Jones' legal troubles, Darqueze Dennard struggling early in his career, and William Jackson III coming off a lost rookie season due to a torn pectoral muscle.
All of this is why re-signing Kirkpatrick was so critical for the Bengals, perhaps even enough that the team slightly overpaid to keep him.
So we ask you Bengals fans, what say you of the Bengals re-signing Kirkpatrick to a -year deal?
Dre Kirkpatrick will be getting close to $52.5M over five years for #Bengals via @JimOwczarski— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) March 9, 2017