Cincinnati Bengals left guard Clint Boling has signed two documents in the last month that are based on compatibility and loyalty, and he expects to reap the rewards from them for the rest of his life.
The first was a marriage license ahead of his Feb. 28 wedding, and the second was a five-year, $26 million contract the team made official Tuesday.
“It’s been an exciting time,” Boling said. “It’s been a lot of fun. Definitely a wide range of emotions. We did not go on a honeymoon right away because of the free agency thing.”
When it came to the free agency thing, Boling elected not to go anywhere, choosing instead to rejoin the team that drafted him in the fourth round out of Georgia in 2011.
“That was the number one option,” Boling said. “(Tuesday) it wasn’t exactly done when that 4 o’clock deadline or whenever the new league year started. But the focus all along was to get something done here.
“I like what we have going here. The foundation this team has had between Andy (Dalton), A.J. (Green) and I coming in together. You’ve got guys like (Andrew) Whitworth. There is a good foundation here. I think we can continue to build and make a run in the playoffs.”
Boling, 25, has started 44 of 48 games the last three seasons, missing the final four games of 2013 with a torn ACL. One of the top offensive linemen in free agency, Boling was a big reason for the Bengals’ second-half surge in the running game.
“It’s a group effort,” Boling said. “It’s the whole offensive line, it’s the fullback, it’s the tight end, it’s Andy getting us the right play call. There’s a ton of different factors that go into having a successful running game including (running backs) Jeremy (Hill) and Gio (Bernard). Hopefully we have the same continuity going and I think we’ll continue to develop. It should be a good year.”
And with a new $26 million contract, he and Kelly should have a good honeymoon, too.
Done deals: The Bengals also officially announced one-year contracts with tackle Eric Winston and cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris.
Winston joined the Bengals on Dec. 2 following the season-ending injury to right tackle Andre Smith. Despite not playing anywhere for the first 12 games of the regular season after spending nine seasons with Houston, Kansas City and Arizona, Winston worked his way into shape quickly and started the final two regular-season games and the wild-card loss at Indianapolis.
“We addressed a lot of it last year what a pro he was, and he demonstrated every bit of that,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. “He was a guy who came in here with his sleeves rolled up ready to go to work, so he fit us. That’s what this football team has been about.”
Lewis-Harris is a third-year player who has appeared in 12 regular-season games and two postseason games for the Bengals.
Maybe Mike: Former Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson was cut by the Tampa Bay Buccannneers on Tuesday, one season after he signed a five-year, $43.75 million contract with the team.
That opens the door for Johnson to possibly return to Cincinnati, where he had 26.5 sacks in five seasons, including a career-high 11.5 in 2012.
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