The Bengals on Wednesday signed linebacker Dhani Jones to a one-year contract. On Tuesday, they released linebacker Andre Frazier to pave the way for the signing of Jones. According to an NFC source, the Bengals had visits from three linebackers on Tuesday: Terna Nande, Kevis Coley and Jones. Cincy, one of the worst defenses in the NFL (51 points to Cleveland), have been looking for some much-needed depth to address the “punchless” LB position because of a recent injury to former Virginia Cavalier standout Ahmad Brooks (groin), and they may’ve gotten an answer to their call with the veteran Jones.
Jones, an eight-year veteran who has started for both the Giants and Eagles and hasn’t missed a game in four years, fits what the Bengals appear to be looking for: A 240-pound versatile, durable and experienced linebacker who can help on special teams as well as play a couple of different spots from scrimmage. With Brooks hurting and Jones a starter at both the strong and weak sides, the Bengals would have even more versatility since their two outside backers (Landon Johnson and Lemar Marshall) have also started in the middle.
If the Bengals do sign Jones, they also get a high-profile guy who has dabbled in acting and modeling, and announced his signing with the Saints back in July during his stint working with the NFL Network. He had eight tackles and a sack during three preseason games in New Orleans, where he was cut Sept. 1. The Eagles released him in April after a draft they chose a heavier linebacker for the third straight season. Frazier becomes the third of the Bengals’ top five tacklers on special teams last year to be waived or leave via free agency. Frazier had two team tackles so far this season, but the Bengals rarely turned to him to help from scrimmage.
With defensive back Ethan Kilmer sidelined by a knee injury, safety Herana-Daze Jones is the only active one of the top five. Frazier, a Cincinnati prep-schooler who also played at the University of Cincinnati, finished fifth with 13 tackles last season despite playing in only 11 games after his arrival via waivers from the Steelers.