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D.J. Reader Agrees to Deal With Cincinnati Bengals

D.J. Reader is officially no longer a free agent. The Clemson product spent the 2019 season with the AFC South champion Houston Texans
D.J. Reader

Entering his fifth season in the NFL, nose tackle D.J. Reader, formerly of the Houston Texans, has agreed to a deal with the Cincinnati Bengals. Reader was drafted by the Texans in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

D.J. Reader, Cincinnati Bengals, Agree to Deal

At 6’3” and 347 pounds, Texans head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien had expressed Reader’s value to the team, stating that they were going to sit down, and “Try to do what’s best for both sides.” In 2019, the final year of his rookie contract, Reader made $2 million. He was very close to being selected for the Pro Bowl this year. Recent reports stated that it was unlikely that Reader would be returning to Houston, but that there was interest in the defensive end from three other AFC teams: Denver Broncos, the Tennessee Titans, and the Buffalo Bills.

Originally hailing from Grimsley, North Carolina, Reader attended college at Clemson, and finished his collegiate career as part of one of the team’s most lauded seasons in history. With a 14-1 overall record, the Tigers entered the playoffs as the tournament’s top seed, only losing to Alabama in the National Championship game.

In 2016, Reader started seven games as a Texans rookie. He replaced Vince Wilfork as the team’s starting nose tackle the following season, and started the first 14 games of the season until being placed on injured reserve with a sprained knee.

The first major highlight of Reader’s short career came in the 2018 season opener, in which he recorded his first multi-sack game against the New England Patriots, taking down Tom Brady twice. 2019 brought his biggest year yet, with improvements in all of his statistics. He recorded 2.5 sacks, 52 combined tackles, and 13 quarterback hits.

Reader has completed 81 career solo tackles, the numbers either improving or steadied each season, and 73 assists.

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