Clements expected to replace departed CB Joseph

Posted July 31, 2011 @ 12:45 p.m.
Posted By Mike Wilkening

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 31

The Bengals suffered one of the biggest losses in free agency when CB Johnathan Joseph signed with Houston, but they added an experienced replacement for Joseph when they reached a deal with former 49er Nate Clements on July 30. The move for Clements was one of several additions early in free agency that addressed needs for Cincinnati. The Bengals agreed with RB Cedric Benson, their leading rusher the last three seasons, on a one-year deal on July 31. Former Raiders OLB Thomas Howard adds speed and experience to the LB corps with projected weak-side starter Keith Rivers coming off wrist surgery. Howard defends the pass well and has three seasons with 95 tackles or more to his credit. Another former Raider, Bruce Gradkowski, figures as a likely backup to rookie QB Andy Dalton, the favorite to replace Carson Palmer. Gradkowski is also a solid spot starter.