The team signed H-back Ryan Hewitt to a three-year extension through 2019 worth $7.5 million on Tuesday, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source. Terms of the deal were unannounced, but the pact gives Hewitt new money in 2016 -- $1.5 million in the form of a signing bonus, Rapoport added -- and keeps him from being pulled away as a restricted free agent next offseason.
His stat lines are puny -- just 99 yards receiving last season and no rushing attempts -- but the Bengals value Hewitt as a reliable blocker who can be positioned at multiple positions across the formation. Former play-caller Hue Jackson grew to trust the Stanford grad as a player who wound up playing plenty of snaps.
"There are people in the building who think he's already the NFL's best fullback after his rookie season," team-site writer Geoff Hobson reported last summer.
Hewitt made 11 starts as a rookie in 2014 and another 12 last season. He's bound to play an equally big (but under-the-radar) role come September.