The Cincinnati Bengals landed edge rusher Trey Hendrickson last offseason as a marquee free-agent add and he responded with 14 sacks while serving as a cornerstone of the defense.
It turns out Hendrickson probably doesn’t choose the Bengals without input from safety Vonn Bell.
Hendrickson and Bell spent time together on the New Orleans Saints and the fact the Bengals had added Bell the offseason before his trip to free agency trip was a big deal.
“He’s a reason I came here,” Hendrickson said, according to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com “I knew what kind of captain he was in New Orleans. That told me the kind of guy they wanted. Joe Burrow was a big thing, too. And I called and talked to Vonn and he told me about what they had going on defense and he knew (fellow edge) Sam (Hubbard). Yeah, he’s a reason I came here.”
Call it a domino effect — a great example of what can happen for a franchise when it starts adding culture guys to the locker room who then spread the word about what’s going on behind the scenes.
And sure, money and Joe Burrow don’t hurt either when a talent like Hendrickson sits down to make a decision. But it’s the underrated, quiet endorsement from Bell that seemed to make all the difference with Hendrickson.