The Cincinnati Bengals have announced that they have re-signed veteran linebacker Rey Maualuga to an undisclosed contract.
According to Albert Breer of the NFL Network, Maualuga has signed a two-year deal worth $6.5 million.
"Rey is a big, physical guy who plays with a lot of passion and energy," linebackers coach Paul Guenther said. "He knows the defense and he can play a couple of different spots, and that's going to give us some flexibility as well as some experience in our room."
Selected in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft out of USC, Maualuga has started 59 of his 60 games in the NFL, totaling 348 tackles, three sacks and three interceptions. Maualuga has finished second on the Bengals defense in tackles in each of the last two seasons, posting a career-high 122 tackles and four passes defensed during the 2012 season.
The 6-foot-2, 242-pound Maualuga could move from middle linebacker to the strong side with second-year linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who had a team-high 127 tackles last season, moves to the middle. Burfict led the NFL by earning nearly $300,000 in performance-based pay last season.
In addition to the Bengals, the Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants expressed interest in signing Maualuga this offseason. Those opportunities evaporated when the Cardinals signed former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Jasper Brinkley to play an inside linebacker spot next to Daryl Washington and the Giants signed former Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys linebacker Dan Connor to potentially replace Chase Blackburn at middle linebacker.
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