Bengals re-sign cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick

4:09 p.m Thursday, March 9, 2017 Sports
CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 4: Dre Kirkpatrick #27 of the Cincinnati Bengals shakes hands with fans as he walks off of the field at the end of the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Paul Brown Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Philadelphia 32-14. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The Cincinnati Bengals have re-signed cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick to a five-year contract just minutes before he was set to become an unrestricted free agent.

Kirkpatrick announced the news on Twitter.

With the signing, the Bengals avoided a disastrous opening day of free agency after earlier Thursday the Bengals losing left tackle Andrew Whitworth to the Los Angeles Rams and right guard Kevin Zeitler to the Cleveland Browns.

The No. 17 pick in the 2012 draft, Kirkpatrick has started 29 games the last two seasons. He had three interceptions and 10 passes defended in 2016.