FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22: BenJarvus Green-Ellis #42 of the New England Patriots reacts after losing his helmet while playing against the Baltimore Ravens during their AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 22, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Bengals Add BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Jacob Bell In Free Agency

The Bengals started the offseason with loads of cap space. They signed free agents BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Jacob Bell recently.

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Cincinnati Bengals Sign G Jacob Bell To One-Year Deal

Free agent offensive guard Jacob Bell has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals on Friday afternoon, according to Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal.

The Bengals needed a guard to replace free agent Nate Livings, who signed with the Dallas Cowboys in March. Bell spent the last four years in St. Louis after starting his career with the Titans. The Rams signed him to a six-year, $36 million deal in 2008, but restructured that deal last year to free up salary cap space.

Bell underwhelmed during his time in St. Louis, but was consistent as a pass blocker. Cincinnati will hope that he can improve on Livings' inconsistent play. Bell, 31, gives the Bengals solid depth and starting experience at the position. They may still look for offensive line help in the 2012 NFL Draft.

For more Bengals free agency news, stay tuned to this StoryStream as well as the SB Nation blog Cincy Jungle.


BenJarvus Green-Ellis To Bengals On 3-Year Contract

BenJarvus Green-Ellis has agreed to a three-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. He spent his last four years with the New England Patriots, where he had one 1,000-plus yard season while competing for playing time.

Green-Ellis could immediately assume a starting role in Cincinnati, with the team apparently unlikely to re-sign unrestricted free agent running back Cedric Benson. He will compete with the likes of Bernard Scott, Cedric Peerman and Brian Leonard for playing time. Of those three, only Scott had more than 100 carries last season, picking up just 380 yards and three touchdowns.

Green-Ellis will have the misfortune of playing the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens four times a season, but otherwise could thrive on an offense in need of a running attack. He also brings peace of mind, with exactly zero lost fumbles in his NFL career.

For more Bengals free agency news, stay tuned to this StoryStream as well as the SB Nation blog Cincy Jungle.


Free Agent Michael Bush Drawing Interest From Bears, Bengals And Seahawks

The free agent running back market has been quiet thus far in the 2012 NFL free agency period, but things should soon be heating up with several good backs on the market, including RB Michael Bush, formerly of the Oakland Raiders. Bush already visited the Chicago Bears, and he'll be visiting the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Seattle Seahawks are now on his visit list. The Seahawks' big move in free agency has been the addition of QB Matt Flynn, who agreed to a three-year deal over the weekend.

The Seattle visit is reportedly on Tuesday.

The Bengals are losing Cedric Benson in free agency, so he would be the main option in Cincinnati. In Chicago, he would be playing alongside Matt Forte, who received the franchise tag. In Seattle, he would be splitting time with Marshawn Lynch, who received a multi-year contract this year.

Among those teams, the Bengals are probably the best fit. It also doesn't hurt Bush that the Bengals have a boatload of salary cap space.

For more on the Bengals, visit Cincy Jungle. For more on the Bears, visit Windy City Gridiron. And for more on the Seahawks, visit Field Gulls.


Michael Bush, BenJarvus Green-Ellis Both Visiting Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals are in the market for a running back in free agency. We already heard they'd be visiting with BenJarvus Green-Ellis and now it's being reported that they'll also meet with Michael Bush. Both are among the top free agent running backs available.

Bush was a fourth round pick in the 2007 NFL draft but missed his entire rookie season with a broken leg. He had his best season in 2011 with 977 yards on 256 carries and seven touchdowns. He would likely become the No. 1 back in Cincinnati with Cedric Benson leaving via free agency.

The Bengals have plenty of cap space to make a competitive offer so they can probably land him if they really want to.

Bush was listed as a possible free agent target in SB Nation's free agency preview of the Bengals.

For more Bengals free agency updates, visit SB Nation's Cincy Jungle.


BenJarvus Green-Ellis Visiting The Bengals; Patriots Still Interested

The New England Patriots allowed RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis to hit free agency and there were reportedly multiple teams interested in his services. One of those teams has now been identified -- the Cincinnati Bengals. Per Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, Green-Ellis will visit the Bengals.

Cincinnati has a ton of salary cap space and the'yre losing RB Cedric Benson in free agency so Green-Ellis makes a lot of sense there. If signed by the Bengals, he would enter one of the toughest divisions to rush the ball in with the Steelers and Ravens both in the AFC North.

Green-Ellis was originally an undrafted free agent in 2008 and, believe it or not, he has never fumbled. Not once. That's a pretty incredible statistic for a guy who's been in the league for four years. He also has 24 rushing touchdowns in the last two seasons. His career best rushing yardage came in 2010 when he surpassed the 1,000 yard mark.

For more Bengals free agency updates, visit SB Nation's Cincy Jungle.


Bengals Free Agency 2012: Cincy Looking At Guards, Running Backs In Free Agency

The Bengals were one of the more surprising teams in 2011 as they went 9-7 and even made the playoffs as a wildcard team. They lost their playoff game to the Houston Texans but it was a great start for rookie quarterback Andy Dalton and receiver A.J. Green. Heading into the 2012 season the Bengals have quite a few holes to fill and they would be in much better shape if they re-signed some of their own players. Some of the bigger names to head into free agency that played for the Bengals in 2011 are safety Reggie Nelson, guard Bobbie Williams and running back Cedric Benson.

The Bengals are in big need of a guard, cornerback and running back heading into the 2012 season. Guards Bobbie Williams, Nate Livings and Mike McGlynn are all free agents which leaves two players with little to no experience at the guard positions. At running back, they're looking to upgrade from Cedric Benson, who had an off-year in 2011, and at safety, the team needs to re-sign Reggie Nelson who had a solid season last year.

At guard, the Bengals have the money to target Carl Nicks from the Saints and Ben Grubbs from the Ravens, the two top guards in this year's free agency class. At running back, they've been linked to Michael Bush, who did a good job as Darren McFadden's backup in 2011 and is likely looking to start. Even though the Bengals have a lot to work with, they likely won't spend much as they're expected to address all these positions in the draft.

For more free agency updates, go to SB Nation's Bengals blog, Cincy Jungle.

Bengals Kicker Mike Nugent Picks Up The Franchise Tag

The Cincinnati Bengals become the second NFL team to issue the franchise tag to their kicker. The Cleveland Browns gave it to Phil Dawson on Friday and the Bengals did the same to kicker Mike Nugent. This means Nugent will return to Cincinnati on a one-year guaranteed contract.

Nugent had a terrific season for the Bengals, hitting on 33-of-38 field goal attempts. That was by far the best year in his career. He's an 80 percent career kicker. When your strengths are playing well on defense and controlling the clock, you can't underestimate the need for a good kicker (well, maybe you can).

Nugent returns to a Bengals team that is young and has a lot of promise, particularly at quarterback (Andy Dalton) and receiver (A.J. Green) along with the presence of two first round picks heading into April's draft.

Nugent was originally a second round pick in the 2005 NFL Draft.

For more on the Bengals' offseason, be sure to check out Cincy Jungle.


Bengals Free Agency: Cedric Benson's Future Is Uncertain

The Cincinnati Bengals had a solid 2011 season and made it all the way to the playoffs as a Wild Card team before getting bounced in the first round by the Houston Texans. The Bengals will be looking for ways to build on their modest success in the coming season, and the team will first have to take a look at its impending free agents.

One of their players who is set to become an unrestricted free agent on March 13 is running back Cedric Benson, who has been with the team since 2008.

According to Bengals beat writer Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the team has not contacted Benson about a new contract. Benson appeared on Sirius NFL Radio recently, and stated that he's not sure where things stand at this point.

Reedy points out that Benson struggled late in the season last year, fumbling five times in a two-game span and getting hardly any rushing yardage in losses to the Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans.

The odds of Benson returning for a fifth season in Cincinnati were slim at best as Jay Gruden would like to have more than one feature back along with averaging more than 3.8 yards per carry. After the latest comments they are even slimmer. There wasn't much interest in Benson last year on the open market after an off-field incident late in the lockout, but Benson hopes that this offseason is different.

"I'm definitely looking forward to much better things than what we had last offseason," he said. "As long as I keep things straight here in the offseason, everything will be all right."

Since joining the Bengals in 2008, Benson has only managed to have one offseason go by without getting arrested (2009). It is possible that the Bengals wish to distance themselves from those off-field shenanigans, as well as his lack of yardage.

For more on the Bengals offseason, be sure to check out Cincy Jungle.


Bengals Free Agency: Reggie Nelson Is A Priority

Cincinnati Bengals safety Reggie Nelson had a career year in 2011. He was the standout of a middling Bengals secondary and his strong play is one of the reasons the Bengals were able to earn a playoff berth. He is also set to become an unrestricted free agent on March 13, unless the team can come to an agreement with him before then.

Joe Reedy at took a look at the state of the Bengals secondary in a column posted on Friday. Reedy pointed out that Nelson had the best season of anyone in the position in 2011.

Led the team with four interceptions. He was third on the team in tackles (102). He tied for second on the team in forced fumbles (two), including one that led to a TD return by DE Carlos Dunlap in Week 6 vs. Indianapolis. His first interception was a 75-yarder for a touchdown on Oct. 30 at Seattle, the fifth-longest interception return in Bengals history and the longest since 2002.

Reedy names Nelson as the top priority to re-sign in the secondary. If the Bengals want to keep a key component of their defense intact, they will need to focus on making sure that Nelson does not bolt for another team in the offseason.

For more on the Bengals offseason, be sure to check out Cincy Jungle.


Bengals Free Agents 2012: Manny Lawson, Reggie Nelson Only Defensive Starters Slated For Free Agency

Based on expectations, 2011 was a pretty nice year for the Cincinnati Bengals. Coming off a 4-12 season and having a rookie as your starting quarterback are rarely harbingers of success, but the Bengals managed to go 9-7 and qualify for the playoffs for just the third time since 1990. The 2012 offseason is shaping up as a big one, though, as four offensive starters are slated to become free agents.

Among the key players who could leave are running back Cedric Benson (unrestricted), wide receiver Jerome Simpson (unrestricted), guard Nate Livings (unrestricted) and tackle Dennis Roland (unrestricted). On defense it's a much less sketchy situation as linebacker Manny Lawson and Reggie Nelson are the only starter slated to hit free agency. That's undeniably a good sign, as the defense as clearly the strength of the Bengals in 2011, ranking seventh in yards allowed and ninth in points allowed.

Here's a look at the entire Bengals free-agency class (via Mac's Football Blog):

Exclusive Rights Free Agents (4)

RB Cedric Peerman
DT Nick Hayden
LB Vincent Rey
S Jeromey Miles

Restricted Free Agents (3)

FB Chris Pressley
LB Dan Skuta
LS Clark Harris

Unrestricted Free Agents (20)

RB Cedric Benson
WR Andre Caldwell
WR Jerome Simpson
TE Donald Lee
TE Bo Scaife
OT Anthony Collins
OL Nate Livings
OL Mike McGlynn
OT Dennis Roland
OG Bobbie Williams
DE Jonathan Fanene
DE Frostee Rucker
DT Pat Sims
LB Brandon Johnson
LB Manny Lawson
CB Kelly Jennings
CB Adam Jones
S Reggie Nelson
S Gibril Wilson
K Mike Nugent

For more on the Bengals offseason, be sure to check out Cincy Jungle.

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