The big guy is back and it's officially a trend in the Queen City. Per multiple sources, the Cincinnati Bengals have brought back defensive tackle Pat Sims. Per Paul Dehner, it's a veteran-minimum one-year deal for $870,000.
Cincinnati originally drafted Sims in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft out of Auburn University. He stayed with the club for five seasons and was part of a valuable rotation on the defensive front. Sims adds bulk and potential push to the middle of the defensive line that sorely needs it after last season's up-and-down performances.
The 6'2", 310-pound tackle left for Oakland in free agency in the 2013 offseason and spent two seasons with the Raiders. He had a solid statistical season in his first season in the Bay, racking up 54 total tackles and two sacks. His production dropped a bit in more of a rotational role in 2014 and the Raiders opted to not re-sign him.
Defensive line coach Jay Hayes said in a press release today that he's excited to have Sims back, "Pat was a good player for us here and we think he can fill a role for us this year," said Bengals defensive line coach Jay Hayes. "He lends a physical dimension. He’s a very aggressive run player, and we’re happy to have him back."
At first blush, this seems to be a depth and competition type of pick-up for Cincinnati and it might not rule out another defensive tackle high in the draft. Still, the Bengals are showing their penchant for bringing back productive players who they are familiar with, as evidenced with Sims now re-joining Michael Johnson in Cincinnati.
Part of the reasoning for Cincinnati not re-signing Sims after 2012 was his inability to stay healthy for an entire season. Sims played 16 games just once for the Bengals, and suffered a major ankle injury in 2012, cutting his season short. He did play in all 32 games with Oakland in 2013-2014.
Sims joins Devon Still, Brandon Thompson, Domata Peko, Geno Atkins and Kwame Geathers as the defensive tackles on the roster at the moment.