Four year deal
The Bengals have the first of their two first-round picks under contract, signing cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick to a four-year deal worth $8.6 million with $7.84 million of that fully guaranteed.
Kirkpatrick’s signing is the earliest by a top Bengals draft pick since 2003, when QB Carson Palmer, the top overall selection, signed his contract on April 24, which was two days before the draft.
The Bengals selected the All-America cornerback out of Alabama with the 17th overall pick in the April NFL draft. Kirkpatrick adds youth to a veteran group of corners that includes Leon Hall, Nate Clements, Adam Jones, Jason Allen and Terence Newman. Each is a first-round pick.
“It’s great for the club and great for Dre to have him signed this early,” said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. “Contracts can be a distraction for young guys drafted high, but now he can put all that behind him and focus on making himself better and making us a better team.”