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Approval Poll: Bengals make D.J. Reader highest paid NT in NFL

The Bengals finally dished out some major money for one of the more underrated players left in free agency.

New England Patriots v Houston Texans Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Bengals made a splash on Day 2 of free agency, and it was a big one. Cincinnati gave former Texans defensive lineman D.J. Reader $53 million over four seasons. This deal makes Reader the highest paid nose tackle in the NFL, but you could make the argument that he is a little bit more versatile than being declared purely a nose tackle.

The Texans played Reader all over their defensive line. He was mostly used as a nose tackle, but there were times he lined up at defensive end in a 3-4 front. He was easily one of the most underrated players in this free agency class. He had 52 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 13 quarterback hits. He also wracked up a number of quarterback pressures. Not to mention he was an absolute beast at clogging up the run.

In fact, why don’t you just watch how he took on one of the best guards in the NFL, the ColtsQuenton Nelson, in a highlight reel that The Athletic’s Brandon Thorn put together:

Reader fits right in next to Geno Atkins along the inside. He also will demand enough attention that opposing teams are going to have to be seriously worried about other guys like Carlos Dunlap, Sam Hubbard and Carl Lawson on the outside. It will be interesting to see how teams try to block a defensive front that has Atkins and Reader on the field at the same time. It certainly will be a tall task for any offensive line to give their quarterback an opportunity to step up.

There are likely fans that are very upset that the team couldn’t reel in a linebacker like Cory Littleton or Joe Schobert who signed elsewhere, but you could easily make the argument that Reader may have more impact than the linebackers for the money they got.

Either way, it has to be encouraging that the Bengals finally got off their wallets for an outside free agent who can have an impact.

What do you make of the Reader signing?


What do you think of the Bengals signing defensive lineman D.J. Reader?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    He was someone I was hoping they could sign!
    (483 votes)
  • 63%
    I’m just happy the Bengals are finally putting their money where their mouths are.
    (1405 votes)
  • 4%
    I’m still upset they didn’t sign a linebacker
    (108 votes)
  • 9%
    I’m on the fence, but I’m willing to wait and see how he fits in.
    (220 votes)
2216 votes total Vote Now