Darqueze Dennard not worrying about next contract yet

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Cornerback Darqueze Dennard called it a confidence boost when the Bengals picked up the option on his contract for the 2018 season more than a year ago, but other reactions weren’t uniformly positive.

Dennard missed nine games and made four starts during his first three seasons in Cincinnati and acknowledges that people might ask why because “I haven’t done anything, I’ve been hurt.” Dennard played all 16 games last season, though, and set career highs for tackles, interceptions and sacks while playing the most snaps of any cornerback on the team.

That set a nice foundation for the 2018 season and for Dennard’s chances of landing a big deal for 2019, but the 2014 first-round pick says his focus is on his play rather than his next deal.

“It’s not a thought at all,” Dennard said, via Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I’m just focused on football and trying to be the best Darqueze Dennard I can be, be the best football player I can be and help the team win. I mean, I’m not too much worried about contracts. That will figure itself out.”

The Bengals signed Dre Kirkpatrick to a long-term deal in 2017 and William Jackson is coming off a strong sophomore season, so the team will have to decide how much they’re willing to invest at the position before making any bid to keep Dennard in town. If they don’t, another season like last year should leave Dennard with other interested suitors.

7 responses to “Darqueze Dennard not worrying about next contract yet

  1. When you draft someone in the first round you don’t expect him to be on the bench for three years. You expect him to be a starter, at least in his second year. I wonder if it’s any coincidence that he played well last year because his $8.5M option was in jeopardy. If he plays that well this year he can expect a big payday–and his team will find out if he’s motivated by money or not. If he’s only motivated by money I pity any team who gives him a truckload of cash.

  2. It all depends on his production this year. So why would he worry? Balls in his court.

  3. Sounds like a focused team. People are sleeping on Cincinnat for whatever reason i see most pundits ranking them in bottom five of the league. They havent looked that roster over i suppose.

  4. Any pundit that ranks Cincinnati in the bottom five should retire or change professions.

    Unfortunately… having only one viable high quality receiving option (A.J. Green), no offensive line, and poor, lopsided anti-Cincinnati nfl officiating means it will be another long year for Bengals fans.

    The 2017 Cincinnati Bengals won 7 games with the same deficiencies.

    So… 3-4 more wins is possible if the O-Line improves, John Ross shows up this season, Tyler Eifert is healthy for half the season (optimistic) and the secondary tightens up.

    THAT SAID… 3-4 more losses is possible, too.

  5. Dennard was a very solid CB last season. If he can stay healthy again this year, he could push Dre Kirkpatrick for the starting role opposite WJIII. Dre had better step up HIS game, although the Bengals almost never terminate contracts early.

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