The Bengals have signed middle linebacker Rey Maualuga to a new contract, another move to keep the league's sixth-ranked defense virtually intact.
Maualuga was a second-round pick from Southern California in 2009. He has had some rough times during his transition to starter, with coach Marvin Lewis challenging Maualuga and quarterback Andy Dalton to become more vocal leaders last season. Pleased with how they responded, Lewis gave both of them a "C'' to wear on their jerseys, designating them team captains.
The Bengals went on to make the playoffs for the second straight season, losing to Houston in the opening round.
The Bengals have re-signed four of their defensive players who were eligible for free agency — Maualuga and defensive ends Michael Johnson, Robert Geathers and Wallace Gilberry.