FRIDAY, 2:27pm: Maualuga’s three-year pact with the Bengals is worth $15MM, with $4.5MM in guaranteed money, tweets Albert Breer of the NFL Network.
THURSDAY, 2:57pm: The Bengals have locked up one of their pending free agents, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link), who reports that the team is in agreement with linebacker Rey Maualuga on a new three-year contract. The Bengals have since confirmed the move, announcing the signing on Twitter.
While re-signing Maualuga would have been on Cincinnati’s offseason to-do list anyway, the uncertain status of fellow linebacker Vontaze Burfict likely made bringing back Maualuga a greater priority for the club. Burfict is recovering from undergoing microfracture surgery on his knee, and Maualuga was one of the defensive leaders for the Bengals in his absence.
A starter at linebacker for Cincinnati since he joined the team in 2009, Maualuga played 12 games in 2014, recording 61 tackles to go along with five passes defended and an interception. In 452 defensive snaps, the 28-year-old graded about in the middle of the pack, according to Pro Football Focus’ metrics (subscription required), which placed him 27th out of 60 qualified inside linebackers.
Per Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com, Maualuga was one of three players the Bengals had hoped to get under contract before they reached the open market next week. The club is also attempting to work out new agreements with guard Clint Boling and kicker Mike Nugent, though it remains to be seen if that will happen before their agents can talk to rival suitors on Saturday.