Bengals To Add DE Tarell Basham

Working to bolster their edge-rushing depth, the Bengals are adding a six-year veteran to the mix. Tarell Basham agreed to terms with the team Friday, according to his agency (on Twitter).

The former third-round pick who played for two teams last season will return to Ohio, where he played his college ball. The ex-Ohio Bobcat spent last season with the Cowboys and Titans. Basham, 29, will now prepare to vie for a rotational role behind starting Bengals defensive ends Sam Hubbard and Trey Hendrickson.

Basham has already played for four teams in his career, beginning with the Colts before moving to the Jets. He has twice been waived in-season, seeing the Colts and Cowboys cut bait. Dallas did so last year, having seen Basham go down with a quad injury in Week 1 and the likes of Dante Fowler and Sam Williams become its preferred edge-rushing depth pieces. The Cowboys attempted to dangle Basham in trades but found no takers.

The Cowboys gave Basham a two-year, $5.5MM deal in 2021. He helped Dan Quinn revive Dallas’ defense that year, registering 3.5 sacks and 11 quarterback hits. That came after he totaled 3.5 sacks and 13 QB hits for the Jets in 2020, creating a modest market. Basham forced three fumbles for the 2020 Jets and added another with the ’21 Cowboys. The ’22 Cowboys’ depth at the position left no room for Basham, who played five games for an injury-riddled Titans team to close out the season.

Cincinnati rosters Joseph Ossai as a backup edge option, but the 2021 draftee was playing through a torn labrum during the final games of last season. Ossai underwent surgery early this offseason. Basham will join Ossai, a former third-round pick, and Cam Sample (Round 4, 2021) as backup options going into Cincy’s offseason program. Ossai and Sample combined for 5.5 sacks in 2022.

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