CINCINNATI (AP) — Bengals linebacker Germaine Pratt said he wanted to stay in Cincinnati because he sees the Bengals continuing to win with Joe Burrow as quarterback.
“I want to win, they want to win, so I want to be back,” said Pratt, who signed a three-year contract on Tuesday.
The deal is worth $21 million, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Monday.
“We’re close. It was a fact. I want to win,” said Pratt, who has been a key member of the Bengals defense for the past two seasons. ”I’m big on loyalty. They gave me an opportunity when I got in the league, so why would I try to leave for a team that wasn’t as successful for more money?”
The four-year veteran was an integral part of a defense that helped propel the Bengals to a second straight division title and deep playoff run.
A third-round draft pick in 2019, Pratt set career highs in tackles (99), tackles for loss (six), passes defended (10) and interceptions (two).
He has started each of his past 37 regular-season games played, going back to 2020.
Pratt, one of the league’s top coverage linebackers, has started 54 games in four seasons.
The Bengals already lost their two starting safeties to free agency — with Jessie Bates getting a four-year deal from the Atlanta Falcons and Vonn Bell headed to the Panthers.
Bates played the 2022 season with the franchise tag after failing to reach a long-term deal with the Bengals last summer.
The Bengals are expected to be conservative in free agency as they negotiate a long-term pact with Burrow, who became eligible for a contract extension at the end of the season.
“If Joe Burrow is going to be around for a lot of years, then I need to be around to win,” Pratt said.
The team also re-signed safety Michael Thomas to a one-year contract extension.
Thomas joined the Bengals midway through the 2021 season.
He mainly played special teams last season.
Orlando Brown Jr.
gets 4-year deal with Bengals
Four-time Pro Bowl tackle Orlando Brown, Jr. is leaving the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs for a $64.09 million, four-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Brown’s agent, Michael Portner, confirmed the deal to The Associated Press on Wednesday night.
He said it includes a $31 million signing bonus.
Brown, a third-round pick by Baltimore in 2018, spent three seasons with the Ravens and the last two with the Chiefs.
He goes from protecting NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes to blocking for Joe Burrow.
Brown began his career at right tackle and shifted to the left side in 2020.
He’ll protect Burrow’s blindside in Cincinnati.
The Bengals lost to the Chiefs in the AFC championship game in January.