After a breakout season, defensive end Trey Hendrickson is breaking the bank.
The Cincinnati Bengals are signing Hendrickson to a four-year, $60 million contract with $32 million across the first two seasons, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero and NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday.
Hendrickson’s deal was one of myriad on Monday involving top-flight pass rushers earning big dollars, including former Bengals edge Carl Lawson, who’s agreed to terms with the Jets that are right on line with what Hendrickson garnered on a per-year basis.
Nonetheless, the Bengals went out and spent to bring in a pass rusher to fill the vacancy of Lawson and might not stop there, as NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports Cincy is in the mix to sign former Steelers cornerback Mike Hilton, one of the top cornerbacks available.
Hendrickson, 26, was the No. 4 free agent in this year’s class, per Gregg Rosenthal’s Top 101 free agents of 2021, and was the No. 3 defensive end. Those who fly off the edge were soaring to big deals on Monday. In addition to Hendrickson and Lawson’s signings, other notables were Shaquil Barrett with Tampa Bay, Matt Judon in New England, Bud Dupree in Tennessee and Yannick Ngakoue in Las Vegas, among others.
Hendrickson heads to the Bengals and the AFC North after playing his first four seasons in New Orleans, where he made the most of his first campaign as a starter in 2020. Hendrickson had 13.5 sacks and 25 quarterback hits for the NFC South champions.
Hendrickson and the Bengals are hoping to see continued productivity out of the pass rusher as he begins a new chapter and Cincinnati looks to make a move up and out of the AFC North cellar as the Joe Burrow era is underway.