Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick has agreed to a deal with the Cincinnati Bengals. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Kirkpatrick spent the first five years of his career in Cincinnati, and will remain in Ohio going forward.
The #Bengals are keeping CB Dre Kirkpatrick, source said. They fought for him and get it done.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 9, 2017
Dre Kirkpatrick Re-Signs With Cincinnati Bengals
Kirkpatrick’s career had a slow start. His rookie season in 2012 was book-ended by injuries only allowing him to compete in five games. From 2013-2014 although he played in the majority of the team’s games Kirkpatrick only made six starts. Two of his starts were in playoff games, however.
2015 marked his first season as a full time starter. He played well marking sixteen passes defended. In 2016, starting all sixteen games, he defended ten more passes and added three interceptions. 2016 was certainly the best of his professional career where he finally appears to be meeting his potential.
Kirkpatrick fits the profile of the modern NFL cornerback. At 6’2” 185 he is long, lean, and a smooth runner. Alabama defensive players have generally fared very well in transitioning to the NFL. Although he started slow in the NFL has developed into a quality starter in the league and was a fixture of the Bengals secondary over the past two seasons. Kirkpatrick probably has not yet reached his ceiling as he is only twenty-seven and his best years have been the most recent.
The Bengals selected Kirkpatrick with the seventeenth overall pick in the 2012 draft. Kirkpatrick had entered the draft following his junior season at Alabama. This year marks the end of Kirkpatrick’s rookie contract and thus it was his first time in free agency. Since drafting Kirkpatrick in 2012 the Bengals have used two more first round picks on cornerbacks. Prior to enrolling at Alabama, Kirkpatrick was a highly touted recruit out of Gadsden City High School in Alabama. The five star recruit participated in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and announced his commitment to Alabama live on ESPNU on signing day in 2009.