Cincinnati Bengals free agent tracker: Which players has the team added or re-signed?

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

The Cincinnati Bengals have signed two more of their pending free agents, and former Baltimore safety Geno Stone has agreed to a deal with the team.

Tight end Drew Sample has signed a three-year extension, keeping him with the Bengals through 2026, and running back Trayveon Williams is coming back for the 2024 season on a one-year contract extension. The team announced both moves Monday, as the NFL legal tampering period was kicking off two days ahead of free agency opening.

Stone, who spent his first four NFL seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, is signing a two-year, $15 million deal with a $6 million signing bonus, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. He is the first outside free agent reported to be signing with the Bengals.

The 24-year-old free safety and 2020 seventh-round draft pick stepped into a full-time role with the Ravens last year for the first time and recorded seven interceptions, while posting a coverage grade of 84.9. That ranked seventh best at his position. In his four seasons with Baltimore, he produced 127 tackles and eight interceptions across 51 games.

Cincinnati had need for a veteran safety, and with Stone entering just his second contract, he was an ideal candidate. He’s still young in his career but experienced enough to step in and make an impact. His productivity in coverage made him especially intriguing, though he struggled last year against the run, which is an area the Bengals need to improve.

The Bengals had signed strong safety Nick Scott in free agency last year, but after 10 games, he was replaced by rookie Jordan Battle. Second-year player Dax Hill, a versatile defensive back, struggled at the free safety spot, and communication was an issue with so many young players in the secondary, including second-year player Cam Taylor-Britt and rookie D.J. Turner at cornerback.

Now Hill’s role will come into question with the signing of Stone, but the Bengals’ 2023 first-round draft pick has been said to be capable of filling multiple positions.

Sample, a second-round pick in 2019, re-signed later in free agency last year to return on a one-year deal but proved his worth to the organization as a run blocker, while also showing progress in the passing game in 2024. It comes as no surprise Cincinnati would want him back, but with no other tight ends on the current roster, a long-term contract might have been necessary to avoid a complete rebuild.

In five seasons with the Bengals, Sample has caught 80 passes for 621 yards and three touchdowns in 61 regular-season games.

Williams, who the Bengals drafted in the sixth round in 2019, has yet to make an impact on the offense but has been a key player on special teams. In 51 regular-season games for Cincinnati, Williams has rushed for 307 yards on 62 attempts (5.0-yard average) and caught 15 passes for 74 yards. He also has returned 28 kickoffs for 646 yards (23.1-yard average).

The Bengals also re-signed him to a one-year deal in free agency last year.

Cincinnati had announced the re-signing of guard Cody Ford on Saturday. According to KPRC-Channel 2 Houston reporter Albert Wilson, Ford’s one-year contract is worth $1.35 million with $175,000 guaranteed, a salary of $1.125 million, and a roster bonus of $175,000 the first day of 2024 league year. There also is up to $1.2 million in playing time incentives in the deal.

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