Bengals looking forward to ex-Texan D.J. Reader's energy on their roster

Patrick D. Starr

The Cincinnati Bengals made the signing of former Houston Texans nose tackle D.J. Reader official on Wednesday. The Bengals have been waiting to make the deal official by waiting for physicals to be completed.

Reader signed a four year $53 million deal that pays Reader $22.5 million in the first season and $31.75 through two seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. The agreement makes Reader the highest-paid nose tackle in the NFL and a key player on the defense the Texans have to replace.

Bengals head coach Zach Taylor discussed the signing of Reader in a conference call with media. Taylor has not met Reader in person but has had conversations with him on the phone and lies what he brings to the table as a defensive lineman with his skill set.

"Very versatile," Taylor said of Reader. "Can play a lot of different positions up front. He can be a three-down player for you and really affect the game. He's great against the run really affects the passer in the pass game, great energy."

Bengals' defensive line coach Nick Eason played his college football at Clemson in the early 2000s, and their connection through the program allowed the organization to feel comfortable with the information gathered on landing Reader during free agency.

"He's somebody Nick Eason has known for a long time dating back to both of their Clemson days," Taylor continued. "So we felt like we had a good handle on his personality and what he's going to bring to the table and he really does bring leadership."

Texans head coach Bill O'Brien admitted that the financial obligation for the Texans to keep Reader was too much, allowing the Bengals to land the former Texan nose tackle at the start of free agency.

Reader has already impressed Taylor and the Bengals are looking forward to cashing in on the Texans loss this coming season.

"He seems like a great guy to be around just based on my conversation with him after he agreed to the contract," Taylor added. "He's really going to help us up front, it takes the pressure off some of those guys up front as well, and he'll just be a great addition for us."

Reader was selected in the 5th round (166th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Clemson. 

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