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News » Cincinnati Bengals Inside Slant 2009-05-01

Cincinnati Bengals Inside Slant 2009-05-01

Cincinnati Bengals Inside Slant 2009-05-01
Sometime during the next month, Levi Jones is resigned to his career as a Cincinnati Bengal coming to an end.

After three injury-plagued seasons, the team has indicated to Jones' agent, Kenneth Zuckerman, that they plan to trade or release the eight-year veteran, who is scheduled to make $3 million this season.

Since only one team at the moment is in dire need of a left tackle (Buffalo), it appears as if Jones will be released.

"Prior to the owner's meeting the team said he was going to be traded before or during the draft and if nothing happened there they would release him," Zuckerman said. "It wasn't us asking this. Levi isn't asking for this. This is all brought up by them."

With the team's selection of tackle Andre Smith in the first round of the draft, it appears a move is imminent. Jones has been the team's starting left tackle since he was drafted in the first round in 2002, but hasn't been at offseason conditioning and has been training at Athletes' Performance in Tempe, Ariz.

Another reason why Jones has been working out in Arizona is that he has often been at odds with the Bengals' training staff over the treatment of injuries.

After missing just one game during his first four seasons, Jones has missed 17 during the past three. Last year he suffered a season-ending leg injury against Philadelphia and missed the last six games.

It is conceivable that the Bengals will go into the Sept. 13 opener against Denver with three new starters on the line. Besides Smith possibly taking over at left tackle, Anthony Collins looks to have the inside track at right tackle. Collins, a fourth-round pick last year, started the final six games at left tackle after Jones' injury. There is an opening at right tackle after Stacy Andrews signed with Philadelphia on the first day of free agency.

There will also be a new starting center unless the team decides to re-sign Eric Ghiaciuc, who is an unrestricted free agent. There are four centers currently on the roster -- fourth-round pick Jonathan Luigs, Kyle Cook, Andrew Crummey and Dan Santucci -- but they have a combined one series of NFL experience.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 1, 2009

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