The Cincinnati Bengals got more menacing in the trenches with their plans to sign former Houston Texans defensive tackle D.J. Reader to a four-year deal.
After patiently waiting to make their move in free agency, the Cincinnati Bengals finally made a few big splashes during the legal tampering period on Tuesday afternoon. Their first big signing will be landing former Houston Texans defensive tackle D.J. Reader, who will now be the highest paid nose tackle in football.
The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Reader will go to the Bengals on a four-year deal worth $53 million. Of course, this deal can only be agreed to in principle, as the new league year won’t be officially here until Wednesday. For the Bengals, they get a big body they can play alongside undersized defensive tackle Geno Atkins in the trenches. This move should improve the Bengals.
As for Houston, they are having a rough go of it this offseason. Reader was a former fifth-round pick out of Clemson who is quickly becoming a star in the league at his position, much like Grady Jarrett has with the Atlanta Falcons out of the same alma mater. Bengals fans were hoping their favorite team would make a move, and their first big move in free agency isn’t a disappointment.
Here are the contract details, the national reaction and a grade for Reader going to the Bengals.
Per Rapoport, it will be a four-year deal worth $53 million for Reader linking up with Cincinnati. He will earn on average $13.25 million during the life of the contract.
Reader will be under contract through the 2023 season and won’t be hitting unrestricted free agency again until he is 30 years old.
Overall, this is a huge pickup for the Bengals. Pairing him with Atkins in the trenches gives the lowly Bengals arguably the best defensive tackle tandem in all of football. This will be a great way for second-year head coach Zac Taylor to build up some confidence on his rebuilding team. While Bengals fans are ecstatic about landing Reader, Denver Broncos fans feel like they missed out.
Though the Broncos traded for cornerback A.J. Bouye previously and plan to sign interior offensive lineman Graham Glasgow, landing a player like Reader would have helped solidify them in the trenches. Houston parting ways with Reader was strange, but he seems to have landed in a good spot for him in Cincinnati.