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The Cincinnati Bengals are opening up their wallet.
The team reportedly agreed to big-money contracts with former Houston Texans nose tackle D.J. Reader and former Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes on Tuesday. Reader is reportedly getting a four-year, $53 million deal, while Waynes will receive three years and $42 million, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
D.J. Reader breaks a day-old record with Bengals deal
The Reader deal, which was first reported by the Houston Chronicle, makes Reader the highest-paid nose tackle in the NFL. Reader snatched that honor from Javon Hargrave, who landed a three-year, $39 million deal from the Philadelphia Eagles on Tuesday.
Reader has been a steady presence on the Texans’ defense since he was selected by the franchise in the fifth round of the 2016 draft out of Clemson. Listed at 6-foot-3 and 347 pounds, Reader does most of his work defending the run and filled in seamlessly as a starter when Vince Wilfork retired. Over four seasons, he compiled 154 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks for Houston.
The 25-year-old Reader will team up with Geno Atkins for the Bengals, assembling one of the better defensive tackle duos in the AFC.
As for Waynes, he has been a big part of the Vikings’ defense since the team drafted him 11th overall out of Michigan State in 2015. The 27-year-old tallied 27 pass deflections and seven interceptions over five seasons.
The Bengals, coming off a 2-14 season, have the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft and are expected to select LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. Burrow, if he indeed is the pick, will have A.J. Green to work with. Green, who didn’t play in 2019 after suffering a serious ankle injury, was franchise tagged by the organization on Monday.
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