Clemons is a pretty good pass rusher...I was a bit disappointed with him at times against the run, as he tended to over persue (especially against Cleveland), but he's a talented pass rusher and I think it was a good move.
Continuing the kind of proactive approach toward negotiations that has helped the team to reverse its image, the Cincinnati Bengals have signed defensive end Duane Clemons to a two-year contract extension through 2006, ESPN.com has learned.
The eight-year veteran, who last spring signed a two-year, $2.18 million contract, will earn $3.7 million in so-called "new money" as a result of the extension. And the Bengals, who most experts feel will continue the improvement they began in 2003 under coach Marvin Lewis, retain a still-effective pass rusher for two additional years, and at a pretty palatable price.
Clemons, 30, received a signing bonus of $1.3 million. Base salaries in the contract will be $700,000 (2004), $1.25 million (2005) and $1.35 million (2006). There is an incentive of $100,000 for any season in which Clemons registers eight sacks. If he gets eight sacks and plays 70 percent of the snaps, another $100,000 rolls over into base salary for the following season.
Under his former contract, Clemons was to have had a base salary of $900,000 for 2004. Instead, including the signing bonus negotiated by agent Drew Rosenhaus, he will pocket $2 million for this season.
In 2003, Clemons played in every game at left end. Signed primarily as a pass rusher, he ended up starting 13 contests and recorded 63 tackles, six sacks, one forced fumble, one recovery and two pass deflections. The six sacks tied for the team lead and Clemons' 63 tackles were second most among Cincinnati defensive linemen.
A former University of California star, Clemons entered the league with Minnesota, as the Vikings' first-round choice in the 1996 draft. In stints with the Vikings (1996-99), Kansas City (2000-2002) and Cincinnati (2003), he has 366 career tackles, 41 sacks, 12 forced fumbles, 10 fumble recoveries and 13 passes defensed. The 41 sacks are the most for any current Bengals defender.
Clemons has appeared in 118 games, and started 72, and figures to retain his starting spot in 2004 as well.
The extension with Clemons comes even as Bengals officials continue to negotiate with former Pittsburgh linebacker Jason Gildon, another proven pass rusher and arguably the top unrestricted free agent still available. The 10-year veteran is expected to decide this week where he will continue his NFL career and is also talking with the Buffalo Bills and Green Bay Packers.