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Bengals pick up CB Kirkpatrick’s option


The Sports Xchange

The Cincinnati Bengals picked up the fifth-year options on cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, a first-round pick in 2012, and guard Kevin Zeitler.

CBS Sports first reported Kirkpatrick’s option was picked up after some rumblings last week about a long-term deal. The one-year deal is expected to be worth $7.5 million.

Kirkpatrick is competing with Darqueze Dennard for a starting job at cornerback in 2015. The formar Alabama All-American said Monday that he is taking the job after figuring out in the offseason how to be a pro.

“A lot of the going out had to stop. A lot of the staying up late had to stop. It’s pretty much putting everything in line,” Kirkpatrick said. “I feel like I did a great job. My trainer did a great job. My trainer is up here right now. We’re going to be doing a little extra work in the offseason before going into OTAs, do little extra work after practice some time.

“I want to be the best. I don’t want to just be a starting corner. I want to be the best. I want to be the No. 1 corner in the league and that’s what I thrive.”

Zeitler is already a three-year starter for the Bengals.

“These are two guys we want to keep and are glad to keep for a fifth year in 2016, and hopefully beyond that,” said Bengals coach Marvin Lewis. “They are not only good players, they are good people and good teammates, part of a winning mix.

“Kevin has started since the day he walked in this building. For Dre, things didn’t quite bounce his way early on, with injuries and gaining full confidence, but he continued to fight his tail off and we saw the good results this past year. We’re very excited about his future and how he’s attacked the offseason again.”

The Bengals faced a May 4 deadline to pick up the team options for 2016.

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