Cincinnati Bengals Bolster Special Teams Unit with Re-Signings

Sean ODonnellContributor IIIMarch 8, 2013

Kevin Huber was brought back to Cincinnati on a five-year deal after a record-breaking 2012 campaign.
Kevin Huber was brought back to Cincinnati on a five-year deal after a record-breaking 2012 campaign.Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

On Friday afternoon, the Bengals announced that the team had agreed to terms with punter Kevin Huber on a five-year deal that will average about $3 million per year.

Huber was a great beneficiary in a Bengals special teams unit that finished first in all 10 of the NFL's major categories.

Last year, he broke a club record set in the team's inaugural season of 1968 by netting 42 yards per punt. This bested the previous record by almost three yards. Huber also broke the club record for gross yards per punt at 46.6.

Huber seemed elated to be rejoining the Bengals with a long-term deal when he tweeted this on Friday afternoon:

During his first few years with the team, Huber showed promise with a strong leg, but struggled to find consistency. Last season, he seemed to put it all together and became one of the strongest punters to put on a Bengals jersey.

The Bengals also re-signed long snapper Clark Harris, who has been virtually flawless at the position since his arrival in Cincinnati. Re-signing a long snapper that has been so clutch as Harris has been will certainly allow the Bengals kickers to breathe a huge sigh of relief.

Head coach Marvin Lewis had this to say about bringing Huber and Harris back to Cincinnati:

Clark and Kevin are key specialists for us, and it's great to have them in the fold before free agency begins. They have played well and are still young guys. They are entering what should be the prime years of their careers.

Not only did the Bengals retain their punter and long snapper, but they also brought back the personal punt protector and two gunners.

On Thursday evening, the Bengals re-signed Cedric Peerman to a two-year deal. Peerman has been an ace as the personal punt protector to Huber with his blocking and his ability to make a huge play on a fake.

Also back next season are the top gunners from last season. Safety Jeromy Miles and wide receiver Andrew Hawkins have been retained with one-year tenders.

These re-signings prove that Lewis was adamant about keeping the core of his good, young players intact, as he clearly made them his priority so far this offseason.

The only question that remains is who to bring back at the kicker position. The Bengals have choices, but the two most likely candidates are their own free agents, Mike Nugent and Josh Brown.

So far this offseason, the Bengals have seemingly been making all the right moves. If this continues for the duration, this could be a dangerous team come the beginning of the 2013 season.