Now, less than 48 hours later, Billings is indeed leaving the Bengals and joining the Cleveland Browns, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Rapoport also says the deal is worth just $3.5M and is fully guaranteed.
The #Browns are giving DT Andrew Billings a 1-year deal worth $3.5M fully guaranteed, source said. Some heft on their defensive line from someone they’ve played against twice a year.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 19, 2020
Billings was one of the best selections in Cincinnati’s successful 2016 NFL Draft class that included William Jackson III, Tyler Boyd and Clayton Fejedelem. He missed his entire rookie season and as a result had an up-and-down 2017. He started coming into his own in 2018 when he established himself as the starting nose tackle and carried that momentum into 2019.
Still just 25 years old, Billings is an ascending player that the Bengals will miss, though not too much considering whom they signed to replace him. Now Billings will get a chance to play the Bengals twice in 2020 and maybe more if he re-signs with the Browns next offseason.