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Marvin Lewis, Bengals agree to extension

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Another offseason, another one-year contract extension for Marvin Lewis.

NFL Media's Michael Silver reported Friday that the Bengals coach, whose contract was set to expire at the end of next season, has agreed to a deal through 2017, per a team source.

The contract will replace Lewis' existing agreement, keeping the NFL's second-longest-tenured coach in place with the franchise he joined back in 2003.

Lewis and the Bengals have drawn criticism for failing to win a playoff game during his run, but the 57-year-old coach has pulled Cincinnati into the postseason for five straight years. With playmakers on both sides of the ball, the Bengals are a strong bet to continue that streak with a roster we ranked as the third best in the AFC.

Cincinnati spent years in oblivion before Lewis arrived, but the coach now helps oversee a scouting process that has netted plenty of hits in the draft. One of the AFC's better examples of a home-grown roster, the Bengals have joined the division-rival Ravens and Steelers as three of the NFL's most consistent franchises.

Still, Lewis and his players will remain a subject of suspicion until they get over the hump with a playoff win. After suggesting he might call it quits if the Bengals had won Super Bowl 50, Lewis made it clear at the NFL Scouting Combine that he held no thoughts of retiring after his team's crushing playoff loss to the Steelers.

"That's literally the first thing we talked about," Lewis said, regarding season-ending talks with owner Mike Brown. "There was no doubt. That's the first thing he always asks me, but no."

Instead, Lewis marches into his 14th NFL season with hopes of changing Cincy's postseason narrative, while taking comfort in a growing "Marvin Lewis coaching tree" that has seen former assistants Jay Gruden, Mike Zimmer and Hue Jackson all latch on as head coaches elsewhere.

Interestingly, Silver also reported that Lewis hatched a two-year succession plan with Jackson in Cincinnati, but Brown wouldn't put the agreement in writing.

But while his coaching tree and longevity is a legacy nobody can take away from Lewis, he'll be the first to tell you: A Super Bowl ring would be sweeter.

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