HairOnFire Posted March 25, 2008 Report Share Posted March 25, 2008 USA TodayInside Slant Offensive lineman Stacy Andrews, the Bengals' franchise player, is under contract. He signed the one-year tender offer of $7.455 million, a salary equal to the average of the top five offensive linemen across the NFL. The Bengals made the offer Feb. 18.Efforts continue, though, to sign him to a multi-year deal. Teams have until July 15 to reach a multi-year contract with a franchise player. After July 15, a franchise player can play under only the one-year tender, and it can't be extended until after the final regular-season game.Andrews agreed to sign because he wanted to be under contract before the team's offseason strength and conditioning program started Monday, March 24, and the team and agent Rich Moran are engaged in ongoing discussions on that so-far elusive multi-year deal.They've been trying for two years.Andrews, who played only one season of major college football at the University of Mississippi. He played in just five games in 2003 after coming out for football the first time and being re-shirted in 2002."He is a unique player," Moran said. "There is nobody else who played so little in college, yet he gets on the field (in the NFL) and plays at a high level."Andrews played in every game last season with 14 starts. He started Games 1-3 at left guard, enabling Andrew Whitworth to move outside the left tackle in place of Levi Jones, who was coming back from delayed rehab on an injured knee.Andrews then replaced injured Pro Bowler Willie Anderson at right tackle, starting there in Games 5 and 7-16. Andrews was a key contributor to the team's record-low total of 17 sacks allowed. The Bengals ranked second in the NFL in fewest sacks allowed, just one off the pace of league leader New Orleans. In four seasons, Andrews has played 47 games with 17 starts."We're happy Stacy is signed in advance of our offseason work," Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said in a statement released by the club. "And this does not preclude our continuing to talk to Stacy and his representatives about reaching a longer-term agreement."Lewis, on Feb. 22 at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, said he was frustrated by the inability to reach agreement on a long-term deal for Andrews. Lewis said, too, that Andrews would not necessarily be a backup — the line's sixth man, per se, in 2008 — if all returning regulars are healthy. He is expected to compete for a starting role."We're optimistic that we can get a deal done because both sides are talking," Moran said.Eric Ghiaciuc is the starting center, and Bobbie Williams starts at right guard. Andrews made his first three NFL starts in 2006 at right guard when Williams had to undergo an emergency appendectomy.Using their franchise tag designation of Andrews was one of the Bengals' two major moves on offense. The other was signing Colts tight end Ben Utecht to a three-year, $9 million offer sheet as a restricted free agent. Indianapolis declined to match the Bengals' offer for Utecht. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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