Saturday, March 1, 2003

Bengals land free agent DE Powell

Former Redskin will challenge for starting job

By Mark Curnutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Powell profile

The Bengals made their first free agent signing on Saturday morning, landing former Redskins defensive end Carl Powell to a two-year contract.

Powell, 29, who played for Bengals coach Marvin Lewis last season in Washington, is expected to challenge for the starting job at left defensive end.

Powell played in 14 games for the Redskins and had 31 tackles and three sacks. He is 6-feet-2 and 272 pounds. He played in 16 games as a reserve for the Bears in 2001 and was a member of the 2000 Ravens, although he did not play in a game. Lewis was Baltimore's defensive coordinator. Powell wanted to play for Lewis and his former Redskins position coach Ricky Hunley - now the Bengals linebackers coach.

Powell received $500,000 to sign and will get $1.7 million in each of the two years.

Lewis did not return a message left Saturday morning on his cell phone, but improving the defensive line is one of his offseason priorities.

The Bengals also have interest in another Redskins defensive lineman, tackle Daryl Gardener. The Bengals also are expected to make an attempt to sign defensive tackle Sam Adams, released this past week in a salary cap move by the Raiders.

Powell could replace Vaughn Booker at left end.

Effective when he plays, Booker nonetheless missed 10 games with assorted injuries in 2002. Booker is due a $2 million base salary this coming season. The Bengals could save $667,000 against the cap by cutting Booker.

He signed a five-year, $11 million contract before the 2000 season, including a $3.3 million signing bonus. They would have to eat the final two amortized signing bonus payments against the cap.


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