Darqueze Dennard has signed a one-year, $5 million contract with the Cincinnati Bengals, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The exact amount of guaranteed money is currently unknown to the public, although Rapoport reports that Dennard turned a multi-year deal to re-test the market in 2020.
The #Bengals re-signed CB Darqueze Dennard to a one-year contract worth $5M, source said. He preferred a one-year over a multi-year, with a shot at the market next offseason.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 25, 2019
Darqueze Dennard, Cincinnati Bengals Agree to Contract
Dennard has had an up and down career with the Cincinnati Bengals. The former 24th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft has found a hard time seeing the field. Dennard shared a room with a number of talented cornerbacks. With veterans such as Leon Hall, Dre Kirkpatrick, Terence Newman, and Adam Jones, Dennard had a tough time finding his footing in the Bengals secondary.
Dennard is coming off his second-best season as a pro. In 2018, Dennard played in 13 games, starting in nine of them. A sternoclavicular joint injury sidelined Dennard for three games. There has been only one season Dennard has played all 16 games, which happened in the 2017 season.
In 2018, Dennard posted 68 total tackles and two forced fumbles. While the stats are not overwhelming, Dennard has shown potential to be a solid second or third option as a cornerback. Dennard is not quite a shutdown corner, and probably will not be left in predictable one-on-one matchups. But Dennard can hold his own and is capable of playing at a high level.
In Dennard’s first two seasons, Dennard recorded a combined 35 tackles, one forced fumble, one interception and four passes defensed. Dennard played in 24 of a possible 32 games, suffering a season-ending injury in Week 10 of the 2015 season.
The 2016 season saw huge improvement from Dennard, coming off his shoulder injury in 2015. Dennard recorded 41 total tackles, 28 solo. Dennard’s best and most productive season came in 2017. A career-high was in place for almost every category for Dennard, recording 83 total tackles, two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, six passes defended, a fumble recovery, and two sacks. If Dennard can put up numbers like that consistently, a big payday could be in his near future.
Dennard is Georgia born and raised. He attended Twiggs County High School, playing football, basketball, and running track during his time there. His best year came his senior year, as a two-way player, playing both wide receiver and cornerback. Dennard recorded 50 tackles, nine interceptions, and two touchdowns on defense while catching 40 passes for 11 touchdowns on offense.
Dennard later signed with the Michigan State Spartans following his high school career. He finished his college career with 165 total tackles, 10 interceptions, and won the Jim Thorpe Award for the best secondary player in the country.