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Bengals free agency 2018: Bills sign Russell Bodine to 2-year contract

The Russell Bodine era in Cincinnati is finally over.

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Bills’ love for everything Bengals continues.

The latest example came Monday when Buffalo announced the signing of former Bengals center Russell Bodine to a two-year contract, ending his four-year tenure in the Queen City.

While the Bengals initially indicated they planned to re-sign Bodine, they became unexpectedly active in free agency, which made it seem like he was set to move on.

The Bengals have already spent over $25 million in acquisitions and re-signings, including the trade of Cordy Glenn, the re-signing of Tyler Eifert, and the free-agent signing of Chris Baker, Matt Barkley and Preston Brown.

And with the Bengals wanting to carryover about $10 million into next year, they don’t have any money left to spend on free agents, as the rest of it is being saved for draft picks and emergency signings.

But while losing a starting center seems like a big loss, it may actually be a blessing in disguise for the Bengals. They drafted Bodine in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, and he immediately became the team’s starting center.

But he’s had an up-and-down career, and it’s mostly been down. Pro Football Focus has graded Bodine with a 52.8, 46.1, 70.5 and 46.8 in each of the last four years respectively. All but his 2016 grade were poor, and his 2016 grade was only “average”. These grades are out of 100, which speaks to how bad he’s been, but the Bengals never could find a capable challenger for his spot.

Now, the Bengals have a need at center, though this is a great chance for them to upgrade what’s been one of, if not their biggest weakness for several years now.