Rey logged 98 combined tackles, five passes defensed, one sack and an interception in 2015. Retaining the 28-year-old is a welcome development for the Bengals, who saw Emmanuel Lamur agree to terms with the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday, per Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press.
Lamur went to reunite with former Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, but Rey opted to remain with a defense that ranked second in points allowed last season under Paul Guenther.
Although Rey made only eight official starts in 16 appearances, he got the majority of snaps and made the most of them, evident in his gaudy numbers. Considering how well he produced under the circumstances and the relatively generous cost of his contract, the Bengals have to be thrilled at retaining Rey for such a price.
It's been quite an ascent for Rey in his NFL career since Cincinnati picked him up as an undrafted free agent in 2010.
Rey doesn't take his role for granted, even opting to attend bonus special teams meetings despite the integral part he plays on an elite defense. Special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons spoke about Rey in that context to Cincinnati.com's Paul Dehner Jr. in October:
It shows a level of his professionalism and responsibility he feels for the rest of his teammates. He brought up a good point, when Jerry Rice got toward the end of his career he sat in every special teams meeting just to give his support to the rest of the guys. Rest of the guys see, that's Jerry Rice sitting in the front row of the special teams meeting I better do what I'm supposed to do. So whatever role (Rey) may be in, it's being a pro, it's being a leader. That's what Vinny Rey is.
Cincinnati also managed to retain cornerback Adam Jones, who announced Wednesday he agreed to a new three-year deal. Jones is a key piece to the secondary, but the Bengals must prioritize re-signing free safety Reggie Nelson, who had eight interceptions last season.
But the front seven should be secure for the foreseeable future, especially with Rey returning. Vontaze Burfict and Rey Maualuga are also under contract through 2017, and Vincent Rey will continue to play over A.J. Hawk as a critical piece in an impressive linebacker corps.