The Bengals are attempting to re-sign free agent cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link), who adds Cincinnati has put “strong money” on the table in an attempt to retain its top defensive back.
Kirkpatrick, a former first-round pick, has rounded into form over the past two seasons after barely playing during his first three NFL campaigns. After starting 29 games from 2015-16, Kirkpatrick has become the Bengals No. 1 corner, and losing him to free agency would represent a devastating blow to the club’s defense. Cincinnati has spent multiple first-round picks on corners in recent years, but neither Darqueze Dennard nor William Jackson has shown much yet. Veteran Adam Jones, meanwhile, could potentially be released following an offseason arrest.
Kirkpatrick, 27, won’t come cheap, as one report indicates his price tag could approach $11MM. The Titans and Steelers are also thought to be interested in his services, although Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com notes Pittsburgh probably won’t go above $10MM annually to steal away its division rival’s defender.
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