clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Darqueze Dennard thinks Bengals’ secondary should be elite after re-signing with the team

Darqueze Dennard couldn’t be happier to be back with the Bengals on a one-year deal under a new coaching staff.

Denver Broncos v Cincinnati Bengals
CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 22: Darqueze Dennard #21 of the Cincinnati Bengals congratulates Dre Kirkpatrick #27 of the Cincinnati Bengals after he returned an interception for a touchdown during the fourth quarter of the game against the Denver Broncos at Paul Brown Stadium on December 22, 2014 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Denver 37-28. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images

It is official that cornerback Darqueze Dennard will be re-signing with the Bengals on a one-year contract.

It appears that Dennard simply wasn’t comfortable with the situations that were available this go in free agency between money and scheme fits. Dennard hasn’t made it a secret that he prefers to play on the outside, but the Bengals obviously prefer Dre Kirkpatrick and William Jackson as their outside corners.

Dennard has really been a great teammate because him sacrificing his ego and playing the slot cost him a shot at the contract he thought he could get on the open market.

“There’s a lot things that were shook up. Definitely crazy, I will say that,” Dennard told Geoff Hobson of “The thing it just came down to is the scheme that fits you. A couple of teams called and I had to weigh some options, Cincinnati being one of them.”

When it comes down to it, this seems like it could be a mutually beneficial deal. Dennard returns to Cincinnati where he can show he can be better in coverage, and the Bengals get their starting slot cornerback back.

At worst for Dennard, he hits free agency again in about the same situation as this offseason. Had he taken a one-year deal somewhere else where he wasn’t comfortable with the scheme and crashed and burned, he would lose out on a ton of money trying to prove himself again.

Of course, Dennard still has to prove he is worth the money he thinks he is to other teams, but it says alot about this coaching staff that he thinks he can accomplish that by returning to a new coaching staff in Cincinnati.

Dennard is taking a calculated risk by returning to a team that had not only signed his would-be-replacement this offseason in free agency (B.W. Webb), but they also seemingly drafted his replacement last offseason in Darius Phillips, who showed a few sparks in the slot last season. He is still excited to be apart of a secondary that has all the makings to be one of the best in the NFL.

“I think [our secondary] should be elite,” Dennard said in an interview conducted by Marisa Contipelli of With this type of talent we have throughout the room, I think we should be the number one secondary, and if we are the number one secondary that means we have a top five defense as well.”

Dennard was a big part of what little success the Bengals had on defense last season. He was one of the best run supporting slot cornerbacks last season. When you think about how Cincinnati already had the 29th ranked run defense, it is hard to imagine how bad it could have been without Dennard.

Of course, the combination of Jackson, Kirkpatrick and Dennard is about as good of a trio as you’ll see at cornerback in the NFL. It is a complete luxury for Cincinnati to have such a combination, but it has become more necessary for NFL defenses to have such a trio with how often teams have three receivers on the field.

Most defenses lose the ability to defend the run as well when having three corners on the field, but with Dennard, that isn’t as much of a worry.

Hopefully, Dennard is able to have the season he was hoping to maximize his value, and elevate this defense out of the basement of the NFL with the rest of the Bengals’ talented secondary. It is just nice to have such a talented group of players for at least one more season.