Kirkpatrick stays with Cincinnati

CINCINNATI, Ohio –  The Bengals on Friday re-signed CB Dre Kirkpatrick, who yesterday became an unrestricted free agent. He signed a five-year contract.

Kirkpatrick (6-2, 185; Alabama), Cincinnati’s first-round draft choice in 2012, has started 32 of the last 35 Bengals games (including postseason). He has played in 63 of the last 64 games, also including postseason. Kirkpatrick’s three interceptions in 2016 were tied for the team lead. He led the team in passes defensed in 2015 and was second in 2016.

“It’s exciting for us to retain one of our young, emerging players,” said head coach Marvin Lewis. “Dre has developed over the last two seasons to be a consistent starter and dependable player we can count on play in and play out. We still believe he has the ability to continue to grow and have an incredible career.”

“I feel blessed,” Kirkpatrick said. “I’m happy to be back in an organization that believed in me since day one. They gave me my start. I’m happy for my family and to be a role model for my son.”

Kirkpatrick has nine interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns.

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