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Bengals sign former OSU OL Kirk Barton.


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Barton lands with Bengals


Now with the fourth team of his rookie NFL season, Kirk Barton has strong advice for those who might follow in his footsteps.

"Don't sign a lease. Extended Stay Hotels are your friend."

Barton, an All-Big Ten offensive lineman at Ohio State, laughed. But it's his serious desire to play in the NFL that landed him with the Cincinnati Bengals on Thanksgiving night when they signed him off Miami's practice squad.

"I'm going someplace where I think I have a realistic chance at playing," said Barton, who doesn't expect to be active for a game Sunday against Baltimore. "Bottom line, you just want to play."

A seventh-round draft pick by Chicago, he made the team in training camp and played on special teams in the Bears' season opener.

Then Barton was cut two days later.

"In Chicago, I had just signed a six-month apartment lease the Friday before the opening game, and I was gone within a week," Barton said.

The Bears intended to sign him to their practice squad, but the Dolphins claimed him off waivers. He was added to Miami's active roster, never was activated for a game and was cut Oct. 16.

Miami also planned to add Barton to its practice squad, but San Francisco claimed him. He and his fiance, Brittany Jordan, had just gotten an apartment fixed up when he suddenly was headed for the West Coast.

"Amazing," Barton said. "Other than going from Miami to Seattle, you can't really make a bigger switch, miles-wise, in the NFL."

He arrived in San Francisco just before coach Mike Nolan was fired and Mike Singletary was promoted. He witnessed Singletary ordering tight end Vernon Davis off the field during a game and Singletary's halftime speech in which he dropped his pants.

"I don't want to go into too much detail, but it was an interesting time, to say the least," Barton said. "We also had a bye week during that time, so I took the opportunity to pretty much see California for the first time, to drive down and see Hollywood."

Never activated for a game, he was cut Nov. 9. Three days later, the Dolphins signed him again. All he had to do was pack three bags -- "That's where I discovered Extended Stay" -- and on his return to the Dolphins he signed for a seven-week stay in a modest beachfront vacation condo in Hollywood Beach.

"Of course, we're not using it the last few weeks, but my future in-laws said they might go down and stay there for a while," Barton said.

Again, he laughed. But at least Barton knows there is interest in him.

"Young linemen are a pretty big commodity in the league," he said. "Everybody wants young tackles. That's why Miami wanted to keep me."

In the past two weeks, the Bengals have lost two starting linemen to injuries, left tackle Levi Jones (leg and back) and left guard Andrew Whitworth (ankle sprain), plus backup guard Scott Kooistra (knee).

"He's a young prospect who will have an opportunity to grow and develop," coach Marvin Lewis said. "It's a good way to add another prospective guy to our roster."

Dispatch reporter Scott Priestle contributed to this story.

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