Bengals designate OL Andrews as franchise player

CINCINNATI -- Offensive lineman Stacy Andrews has been designated the Cincinnati Bengals' franchise player.

The franchise tag gives Andrews the option to play for Cincinnati in 2008 for a salary equal to the average of the top five offensive linemen in the NFL in 2007.

Andrews will be a fifth-year player in 2008. The 26-year-old is unsigned for 2008, and will become an unrestricted free agent on Feb. 29 if he doesn't reach an agreement with the Bengals.

The franchise-player tag means the Bengals can retain Andrews by matching any offer sheet he signs from another team. If the Bengals decline to match a signed offer, the team signing Andrews would be required to give the Bengals its first-round choices in the 2008 and 2009 NFL drafts.

Cincinnati announced the move on Monday.

The NFL collective bargaining agreement allows a new contract between Andrews and the Bengals any time up to July 15.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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