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Bengals lock up specialists


The Cincinnati Bengals agreed to terms with two more players Friday, signing punter Kevin Huber and long snapper Clark Harris two days before they would have become unrestricted free agents.

Huber is coming off the best season of his career as he set the Bengals record for gross punting (46.0) and net average (42.0), numbers that also made the Cincinnati native the franchise’s career leader in both categories with a 44.0 gross and 38.9 net.

Huber finished sixth in the NFL with a plus-27 differential on punts inside the 20 (33) and touchbacks (six) and moved into a tie with Kyle Larson for the franchise’s best all-time ratio (3.41:1).

Terms of the contract were not announced, but Huber wrote on Twitter that he is happy to be sticking around Cincinnati for another five years.

Harris has not delivered an unplayable snap on a punt or place kick in 552 opportunities. Both Harris and Huber are entering their fifth seasons and have played in every game since their arrival in 2009.

“Clark and Kevin are key specialists for us, and it’s great to have them in the fold before free agency begins,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said in a press release. “They have played well and are still young guys. They are entering what should be the prime years of their careers.”

On Thursday the Bengals signed Huber’s personal protector, running back Cedric Peerman, to a two-year contract and offered tenders to safety Jeromy Miles, wide receiver Andrew Hawkins and linebacker Vincent Rey.

The team could look to add to its stable of specialists this weekend by signing one of its two kickers. Mike Nugent and Josh Brown both are set to become unrestricted free agents Tuesday.

Nugent, the former Centerville High School and Ohio State standout, was 19 of 23 on field-goal tries in 12 games before suffering a calf injury in early December. The injury led the Bengals to sign Brown, who went 11 of 12 in four regular-season games and the Wild Card playoff loss at Houston.

Brown’s lone miss was a 54-yard attempt at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field in late December, but he avenged it a few minutes later with a game-winning 43-yarder than clinched the playoff berth.

Punt returners Adam Jones and Brandon Tate also are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents Tuesday.


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