by Aaron Wilson
June 12, 02014
The Cincinnati Bengals have signed first-round cornerback Darqueze Dennard to a four-year, $7.978 million contract.
It includes $6.47 million guaranteed with a $4.122 million signing bonus.
All eight draft picks are now under contract.
“Of course it’s great to have all this done well before we come back for training camp,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. “As for Darqueze, he’s been everything we hoped he would be to this point. He’s a great talent. He played in a big-time pressure defense at Michigan State and he’s not afraid to be out there (in coverage) by himself. And as we knew he would, he conducts himself every day as a mature pro who wants to get better every day.”
Dennard won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back.
“Starting a rookie at corner, it depends on the person," secondary coach Vance Joseph said. "Darqueze is a very mature person. He’s an achiever also. From high school to college, he’s been a winner. His personality, his skill set, I would feel fine starting him. But he’s got to earn it. We’ve got Leon Hall here. We’ve got Terence Newman. We’ve got Adam Jones. We’ve got Dre Kirkpatrick. He’s got to earn it.”
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun