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Bengals QB Kitna says he'll explore free agency

In what could prove beneficial in the Ravens' veteran quarterback search, Cincinnati Bengals backup Jon Kitna indicated he will explore his options when free agency begins in March.

Kitna is considered one of the top quarterbacks available in free agency, and the Ravens have openly talked about their need to add a veteran to compete with Kyle Boller or back him up.

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The Bengals last talked with Kitna's agent about two months ago.

"Eight weeks ago, it would have been a lot easier to sign here," Kitna told The Cincinnati Enquirer. "Now that the season is done, I want to see what is out there. I feel like God is leading me in this direction. I have to believe I am in the top 32 quarterbacks in this league."

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Kitna threw for more than 3,000 yards each season from 2001 to 2003 before accepting a backup role the past two seasons. He wouldn't rule out re-signing with the Bengals, especially with starter Carson Palmer expected to be out for six to nine months with a torn knee ligament.

"I like it here. I like working with Carson and the coaching staff," Kitna said. "It would have to be a really great deal for us to give up free agency."

The quarterback market could be significantly improved if Kerry Collins, Aaron Brooks and Steve McNair are cut for salary cap reasons.

Meanwhile, Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Fassel's pursuit of a head-coaching job has been quiet. He has not had a confirmed meeting for a vacancy since talking to the Kansas City Chiefs last week.


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