This offseason, the Bengals and cornerback Darqueze Dennard agreed on a contract that would bring the two sides together again for another season.
Dennard originally hit the open market, but it appeared he didn’t find the deal he was hoping for, opting for a prove-it deal that would allow him to try again next offseason.
One reason Dennard may have had trouble securing a multi-year deal was due to a procedure done on his knee. Here is what Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com had to say:
The Bengals are hoping slot cornerback Darqueze Dennard returns for the mid-June mandatory minicamp after what is believed to be a minor knee scope. The Bengals were aware of the potential for surgery when they signed him to a one-year deal in March, but its thought it could be corrected quickly if it didn’t respond in the off-season workouts
Knee injuries are always a tough one for players, but it is at least a good sign the Bengals expect him to be back at some point during the offseason programs to help learn the new defense.
This would also explain why teams could have been hesitant to hand out a contract Dennard thought he was worthy of. He would be one complication away from missing valuable time with a new team, increasing the risk of his immediate impact with a good amount of guaranteed money coming his way.
Luckily, the Bengals have no shortage of slot defenders while Dennard rests up. The team brought in B.W. Webb, who worked with Lou Anarumo while he was the Giants’ secondary coach last season.
Darius Phillips will return after as well after replacing the injured Dennard multiple times last year during his rookie season. Hopefully he will continue to develop into a more consistent player going into his second year.
Despite all this, it should be safe to assume that Dennard will be the Week 1 starter at his old position. He has been very reliable there and has been one of the most sure-tacklers at the cornerback position over the past couple of seasons.
It is just a matter of just how quickly can Dennard get back to 100%.