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Bengals re-sign Reggie Kelly


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Kelly to return

By GEOFF HOBSON

March 6, 2007

6:35 p.m.

The Bengals won a bidding war Tuesday for tight end Reggie Kelly, bringing him back to Cincinnati as the starter for a fifth straight season.

The Bengals don’t confirm contracts unless they are signed, but a source outside the club said Kelly has agreed to return in a three-year deal.

Kelly, 30, has helped anchor a ground game that produced two franchise-best seasons for running back Rudi Johnson and his 4,221 yards over the last three seasons. One of the first signings in the Marvin Lewis era (he inked a four-year deal in the first week of agency on March 13, 2003), Kelly missed just one game in the last three seasons and last year showed he could also be a big target. He had his first 20-yard catches a Bengal last that included a 32-yarder that was his longest in four seasons and finished with is Bengals-best 23 caches for 254 yards after catching a combined 256 the previous three seasons.

Rock on. :rockon:

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So, was this a good signing? Decent? He sucks? The Bengals were able to get something done -- although I admit that signing your own player is hard to get too excited about. I'm not sure this cements the TE spot for the season, but it would seem to push it to day 2 of the draft at least. All in all, I'm more happy they got this one done at what seems to be a pretty reasonable hit. Is it possible he left some $$ on the table from AZ?

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So, was this a good signing? Decent? He sucks?

Decent. Status quo signing. Means there should be only one major change on the offense in '07, Steinbach.

Yeah, that's kinda how I see this one too. To be honest, if you would have asked me last year whether RK would be any kind of priority, I would've laughed. However, I do think he has been effective in his role and, on balance, I'm glad we don't have to either go after somebody earlier in the draft and/or rely on Stewart, who does not impress me. I was just putting that out there to see how the MIW crowd was doing with this one.

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Per Curnutte, you can credit this one to Palmer:

Tight end Reggie Kelly said a late-afternoon phone call from quarterback Carson Palmer convinved him to take less money to stay with the Bengals.

Kelly said he would be staying in Cincinnati for three more years and that he left "a lot of money on the table" in Atlanta, Arizona and Oakland to remain a Bengal.

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Pulse check of the Bengals four highest priorities in unrestricted free agency. (In no particular order)

1 - Retain Justin Smith. Check :sure:

2 - Retain Reggie Kelly. Check :sure:

3 - Retain Kenny Watson. Check :sure:

4 - Retain Kevin Kaesviharn. Pending.

K2 should make his decision soon enough and it won't make or break hearts either way, but I'd love to see him return. I'd also like to see the Bengals lock down the backup QB position with a young player who can learn the system and carry the clipboard for the next three or four seasons so I'm hoping that Patrick Ramsey is in the plans.

Regardless, nice job so far.

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I was surprised to see Ramsey might be in the plans, if I was him I'd try to go to Carolina or somewhere with half a chance at starting eventually. He'd be a perfect backup for us though.

Great signing, I'm glad this is done. We can do without KK, I'd much rather keep Kelly (not that it won't hurt having him as a versatile backup).

I loved reading all the quotes from Carson and Kelly. Makes you realize that despite all the negativity in the media about our team the chemistry is pretty good and it's just one more example of the very high character players we have.

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Reggie might not be Antonio Gates, but he's solid. He's a decent receiver... but that's not his strong point - and that's not where the Bengals utilize him. He's a great run blocker, and he's important to our success on that front.

He made a lot of progress in the passing game last year. Maybe it was because of all the WR injuries that he caught more passes than in the past... but something tells me that Carson is starting to trust him as a receiver. If that happens, the complaining about the TE position will be quieted.

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I've been hard on Reggie in past but I'm really glad he's back...I just wanna see spot 2# given to a young guy rather then big money stewart ;)

I think you'll probably get your wish. Whether it be Guenther, Day, or Ghent... I don't expect Stewart back. However, he did make some pretty big catches last year when no one else was stepping up. I know his stats weren't all that impressive, but he had some important receptions for 1st downs last season.

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I think you'll probably get your wish. Whether it be Guenther, Day, or Ghent... I don't expect Stewart back. However, he did make some pretty big catches last year when no one else was stepping up. I know his stats weren't all that impressive, but he had some important receptions for 1st downs last season.

Agreed. Unless a noteable talent falls to the second day, I think the Kelly signing all but eliminates any chance the Bengals draft a tight end. Should Stewart depart as most expect, one of the three practice squad caliber guys will step up and take his spot on the roster.

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I've been hard on Reggie in past but I'm really glad he's back...I just wanna see spot 2# given to a young guy rather then big money stewart ;)

I think you'll probably get your wish. Whether it be Guenther, Day, or Ghent... I don't expect Stewart back. However, he did make some pretty big catches last year when no one else was stepping up. I know his stats weren't all that impressive, but he had some important receptions for 1st downs last season.

Throw Tab Perry into the mix on certain downs as well....I think Tab is very important next year as the WR/KR/HB/TE....

I would go with Kelly, Ghent and Tab mixed in....

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