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Former Ravens linebacker Josh Bynes reportedly signs one-year deal with Bengals

Free-agent inside linebacker Josh Bynes, whose unlikely contributions helped shore up the Ravens defense last season, has signed a one-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals, according to the NFL Network.

With Patrick Onwuasor also an unrestricted free agent, the Ravens will likely enter the NFL draft next month with a pressing need for an instant-impact inside linebacker. Of the Ravens’ returning players at the position — L.J. Fort, Chris Board and Otaro Alaka — only Fort has significant experience.

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Bynes, who started his NFL career with the Ravens in 2011 and made the final tackle in their Super Bowl XLVII win, was signed off the street in early October amid defensive struggles. Despite not playing since the 2018 season with the Arizona Cardinals, he started seven of the next 12 games, finishing with 46 tackles, one sack and two interceptions and not losing until the playoffs.

The 30-year-old ended the season as Pro Football Focus’ sixth-rated linebacker, though he averaged less than 33 defensive snaps per game, sharing time with Fort.

“Josh is a good, good football player," coach John Harbaugh said last season. "He’s a [middle linebacker] by trade. He played the position all those years, so he brought a lot of experience to the table. He still has it physically. He’s really the same player that he’s always been. It’s a tribute to him that he is there and [has] played good football for us.”

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