CINCINNATI — The Bengals continue to add pieces on defense. One day after landing former Saints defensive end Trey Hendrickson, Cincinnati has agreed to sign cornerback Chidobe Awuzie to a three-year, $21 million deal according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.
The Bengals liked Awuzie's "athleticism and consistency."
Dallas selected the 25-year-old in the second-round (60th overall) in the 2017 NFL Draft. He appeared in 49 games for the Cowboys, making 42 starts in four seasons.
Awuzie compiled 38 tackles, five passes defensed and one interception in eight games last season. He missed a significant portion of the year with a hamstring injury.
He posted his best numbers in 2019, finishing with 79 tackles, 14 passes defensed and one interception. He played in all 16 games that season.
Awuzie's versatility was another factor in this signing. He played outside for Dallas, but they also moved him inside and he got time in the nickel spot.
He'll join a Bengals' secondary that includes Trae Waynes, Jessie Bates and Vonn Bell. It remains to be seen if Cincinnati will be able to retain free agent cornerback William Jackson III.
Signing Awuzie softens the blow if the former first-rounder does sign elsewhere. He could start alongside Waynes.
The Bengals could still go after a nickel corner like Mike Hilton, who they are interested in according to reports.
Check out some of Awuzie's highlights here.
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