The depth along the Bengals defensive line just got a little better as the team has reportedly come to terms with DE/DT Jonathan Fanene on a one-year deal. Fanene missed most of last season with injuries, but was a big part of the team’s success in 2009, when he played quite a bit at DE after starter Antwan Odom went down with an Achilles.
The news was reported by Joe Reedy via twitter, but terms were not disclosed.
The Bengals now have Fanene to add to a depth chart that includes starters Michael Johnson and Robert Geathers, and back-ups Carlos Dunlap, Frostee Rucker, Victor Adeyanju, and some rookies on the depth chart. If Fanene can stay healthy, I expect him to make the roster and provide an impact this season.
Fanene was a seventh rounder in 2005, and the last of that class to still be a Bengal. It may be recalled by many fans that the 2005 class perhaps showed the most promise in recent memory, but was eventually decimated by tragedies. First round pick David Pollack showed immense promise as a pass rusher, but retired after just one season due to a catastrophic neck injury. Second-rounder Odell Thurman was a spectacular play-maker at middle linebacker, but washed out of the league due to alchoholism and run-ins with the law. Third rounder Chris Henry might have been the best of the bunch; a budding superstar if not for his own troubles with the law. His life tragically ended in a vehicular incident with his fiance in 2009.