Saturday, May 1, 2004

Team claims Falcons QB Kittner off waivers


Bengals notebook

By Mark Curnutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The only veteran quarterback on the Bengals' roster without an NFL start is starter Carson Palmer.

The Bengals on Friday claimed former Falcons quarterback Kurt Kittner off waivers, and he becomes the likely favorite to claim the third roster spot behind backup Jon Kitna.

The Bengals liked Kittner coming out of Illinois in 2002, but Atlanta drafted him in the fifth round.

Kittner did not play as a rookie but appeared in seven games with four starts last season for the Falcons in place of injured Michael Vick.

Kittner was 44-for-144 passing (38.6 percent) for 391 yards. He threw two touchdowns and six interceptions.

Besides Kittner's four starts, Kitna has another 76 NFL starts in reserve of Palmer, who has yet to take a professional snap.

Kittner's arrival means the Bengals are unlikely to bring back unrestricted free agent quarterback Shane Matthews, who had signed a one-year contract with the Bengals a year ago and spent one season on the roster.

Kittner threw for 8,722 yards as a four-year starter at Illinois and left school as the program's winningest quarterback with 24 victories. He also threw 70 touchdown passes.

Kittner is 6 feet 2, 221 pounds.

The Bengals now have five quarterbacks on their roster. The final two are rookies, seventh-round draft pick Casey Bramlet of Wyoming and free agent Scott Rislov of San Jose State.

KITNA DEAL: Kitna's contract extension signed early last week cuts his salary cap number by about $1.3 million.

Signed now through 2005, Kitna received a $2.375 signing bonus. He will be paid a $1 million base salary this season, and his cap number is $3.1875 million.

His 2005 base salary is $3 million, and he will earn a $1 million roster bonus if he is on the roster at the start of the NFL financial year that often begins with free agency in March.

MOORE DONE: The Bengals confirmed a three-year contract agreement with offensive lineman Larry Moore.

He has 72 career NFL starts with Indianapolis and Washington, including starts in every game for Colts teams that went 13-3 and 10-6 during the 1999 and 2000 seasons. He has started at both center and right guard during his career.

"Larry will compete for playing time in our interior offensive line," Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said in a statement. "He has played in some big games in the NFL, and his signing really adds to our depth."

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E-mail mcurnutte@enquirer.com




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