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Bengals sign first-round pick Billy Price to rookie contract

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The Bengals get their first-round pick under contract before OTAs even begin.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals-Billy Price Press Conference Cincinnati Enquirer-USA TODAY NETWORK

The Cincinnati Bengals have signed Billy Price to his first NFL contract, the team announced Monday.

The former Ohio State Buckeyes center was the the Bengals’ first-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, going 21st overall. As is the cae with all rookies, Price’s contract is for four years through 2021, including a team option to extend it by one year through 2022.

Price was a four-year starter at Ohio State and left Columbus as one of the most decorated offensive linemen in program history. He was a two-time team captain, two-time All-American (including a unanimous choice in 2017), the 2017 Big Ten Rimington-Pace winner as the conference’s top offensive lineman, the 2017 Rimington Trophy winner as college football’s top center, and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten performer.

The 6’4”, 305-pound Price started at guard for three seasons (2014-16) before moving to center as a senior (2017), and he finished his career with school records for both total and consecutive starts (55).

Price blocked for two Big Ten championship teams (2014 and 2017) and one national championship (2014), and Ohio State’s offenses ranked in the top 20 nationally in rushing all four of his seasons.

Due to a partially-torn pectoral muscle at the NFL Draft Combine, Price is expected to be held out of drills during the upcoming OTAs, though he was present at rookie minicamp and cleared to run.

Of the Bengals’ 11 draft picks, just two remain unsigned, including Ohio State defensive end Sam Hubbard and Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson.