After a weekend visit to New York and a lengthy deliberation, S Reggie Nelson has decided to re-sign with the Cincinnati Bengals. It appeared that Nelson was destined for the Big Apple, but ESPN has reported he will stay a Bengal.
Bengal fans have been accustomed to seeing high profile players bolt via free agency over the years, whether that be Takeo Spikes or Justin Smith. To have a player of Nelson's stature be courted by the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins and choose to remain in Cincinnati speaks volumes of the regard for Marvin Lewis and Mike Zimmer.
Retaining Nelson was important to the Bengals, who reportedly increased their efforts to re-sign him on Saturday. After losing Jonathan Fanene and Frostee Rucker from the defense, losing Nelson would have been a devastating loss.
Nelson seemed destined for the "draft bust" tag before being acquired by the Bengals in a trade with Jacksonville. Since coming to Cincinnati, Nelson has revived his career. He started all 16 games this season and was third on the team in tackles with 102. He also recorded a pair of sacks and forced two fumbles. The highlight of his season was a 75 yard interception return for a touchdown at Seattle.
With Nelson in the fold and CB Jason Smith signed yesterday, the Bengals seem to be set at the safety position. Smith can play safety and Chris Crocker, Taylor Mays and Robert Sands all are under contract along with Jeromy Miles who Marvin Lewis is very high on.
The Bengals got a visit from former New England RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis today and Michael Bush, formerly with Oakland, visits tomorrow. The team will most likely sign one of those two.
The other position of focus is defensive end. Former Colts and Falcons DE Jamaal Anderson visited on Friday.
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