The Bengals announced Thursday that linebacker Rey Maualuga has been re-signed to a three-year deal. Maualuga has had an up-and-down career since getting drafted in the second round of the 2009 draft. But he played well last season and the team clearly missed him when he was out of the lineup for four games last year.
Maualuga excels as a run stopper but is stretched in pass defense. He's part of a promising linebacker group with Vontaze Burfict and Emmanuel Lamur. With Maualuga locked up, the Bengals could turn their attention to free agents like guard Clint Boling and cornerback Terence Newman. The Bengals' defense is coming off a disappointing season during which they struggled to rush the passer and live up to the reputation they built when Mike Zimmer was defensive coordinator.