Cincinnati is adding more talent to its linebacking corps.
The Bengals are signing linebacker Kevin Minter to a one-year deal, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source involved.
Minter leaves Arizona, where he played one of two inside backer roles and showed improvement after starting in every possible game in his last two seasons. It’s the second time in two off seasons that the Bengals have added a former Cardinals linebacker, with Karlos Dansby being the other in 2016 (with a stop in Cleveland wedged between Arizona and Cincinnati), but the first of this nature. The Bengals have found stopgaps at the position in veterans like Dansby and A.J. Hawk, but haven’t turned to younger standouts until now.
With Dansby departing for a reunion with the Cardinals, Minter will join a position group that includes Rey Maualuga and Vontaze Burfict. Although he was an inside backer in Arizona, it’s fair to presume Minter will occupy the strong-side position vacated by Dansby, though that was the subject of some debate, per the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Ranked 39th in NFL.com’s Top 101 Free Agents, Minter finished 2016 with 81 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 16 games in Arizona’s up-and-down and ultimately disappointing campaign.