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Bengals paying to keep players

9/1/2006 - NFL

It took only three seasons for coach Marvin Lewis to expel the Cincinnati Bengals' reputation as unlovable losers. It's taken owner Mike Brown, and the front office tandem of Katie Blackburn and Troy Blackburn, even less time to move beyond the rap that the team was run on the cheap.

The latest example of the Bengals' new-found willingness to open up the coffers in an attempt to retain key players came on Thursday when the club signed right offensive tackle Willie Anderson to a five-year contract extension worth about $32 million. The deal, which followed by only a month the $40 million-plus deal that Cincinnati awarded left tackle Levi Jones, did more than just extend the team's offseason spending spree.