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Bengals and Chatman reach deal
BY MARK CURNUTTE | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A day after they let Kevin Walter go, the Bengals agreed to terms on a two-year contract today with another wide receiver.
Antonio Chatman, who caught 49 passes for the Packers last season, including eight against the Bengals, reached agreement on a two-year deal with the Bengals, agent Mark Mersel said this afternoon.
The contract will be signed Monday.
?There are lots of incentives, things like punt returns,? said Mersel, who declined to reveal financial figures until the contract is signed.
Chatman, who caught 68 passes in two seasons (1999 and 2000) with the University of Cincinnati Bearcats, also has played two seasons in the Arena League. He has 71 NFL receptions.
?He?s a true slot receiver, a solid No. 3 or No. 4,? said Mersel, who relayed that Bengals offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski is excited about the acquisition.
?Bratkowski sees him as a new weapon,? Mersel said. ?They have those big receivers outside. He gives them a slot man who?s not afraid to go over the middle and make the tough catch.?
The Bengals announced Saturday that they were not exercising their option to match the offer sheet Walter signed as a restricted free agent with the Houston Texans. Walter signed for four years for $6.4 million.
The Bengals today also confirmed the free agent visits by quarterback Brian Griese and defensive tackle Lional Dalton, a nine-year NFL veteran who played in all 32 possible games the past two seasons with the Chiefs. Dalton, who is 6-foot-1, 315 pounds, broke into the NFL in 1998 with the Baltimore Ravens and played for four seasons with Ravens defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis, now Bengals coach.
Chatman, a University of Cincinnati product, only dropped one ball of the nearly 90 passes and punts he fielded for the Packers this past season. He also had the NFL's longest punt return last year, an 85-yarder against the Bears.