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Bengals Cut Andre Frazier; Sign Dhani Jones
The ex-Steeler is now a free agent and the ex-Eagle is now a Bengal.
Bengals sign Dhani Jones, Cut Andre Frazier
September 18, 2007
Updated: 9-19-07, 10:10 a.m.
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.
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 teams 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.
The state of the special teams is a hot topic after the Bengals have allowed 462 yards covering punts and kicks in the first two games. The punt coverage unit that finished first in the NFL last season and the kick return that was Top 10 are both ranked 29th in the league.
"We've got an awful lot of new guys in there," Jones said Monday as last year's leading special teams tackler tried to tackle the question everyone is asking.
"Sometimes it's kind of difficult. You think of special teams just running and being aggressive. It can get complicated in some instances. Guys make too much if they have to whip or do they have to rip and they end up making the wrong decisions. We just have to run better and trust our speed. I just think sometimes we're not running and being aggressive and attacking."
Jones said very few of his mates were in the same positions on Sunday in Cleveland, when Josh Cribbs popped an 85-yard kick return, than they were last Monday night when the Ravens' Ed Reed scored on a 63-yard punt return.
Besides Kilmer being down until after the bye, one of the new core special teams players, rookie free safety Chinedum Ndukwe (hamstring) didn't play Sunday. Rookie running back Clifton Dawson, with the club all of two weeks, was pressed into service.