Bengals LB Vincent Rey ‘happy’ about receiving restricted tender

Vincent Rey racked up 57 tackles, 4 sacks and 2 interceptions in 2013.

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The Bengals placed a restricted tender on linebacker Vincent Rey on Wednesday. The move means an opposing team can offer the fourth-year linebacker a deal, but the Bengals have the first right of refusal.

Rey along with wide receivers Andrew Hawkins and Dane Sanzenbacher were all given the same low-level RFA tenders of $1.431 million, according to USA Today. If the Bengals choose not to match the offer sheet they won’t receive anything in return opposed to placing a first- or second-round tender, which would’ve raised the player’s annual salaries.

“I was happy about it, man,” Rey told in a telephone interview Wednesday. “I’ll be going into my fifth year this year. I never made that much money before and I was happy about it. I’ve really enjoyed my time in Cincinnati, and I’d like to spend more time there.

“I’m also excited to see what teams think about me. This was my best year that I had even though I didn’t play that much. I feel like I played pretty well.”

Despite being the special teams captain, Rey made a name for himself filling in for injured starters on defense. Rey finished the 2013 season with 57 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions. His breakout game came in Week 9 against the Ravens when he racked up 15 tackles, three sacks and an interception.

“It was great getting a chance to play and starting three games in a row on defense,” Rey said. “It was awesome to make a contribution. Thankfully I played well enough for them to keep me out there. I played a little on third downs. I love special teams, but I also love competing on defense, too.”

Rey played his college ball at Duke, but went undrafted in 2010. After getting invited to camp, he made the practice squad and was used sparingly on the active roster during his rookie season.

If Rey had it his way, he would’ve signed a short-term deal with Cincinnati because he’s truly enjoyed his time there.

“To be honest I was kind of hoping to be there for a two-year deal at least because being in Cincinnati is great,” he said. “We’ve been to the playoffs three years in a row, and it’s become a place that I like to be at. I really feel vested in the community, so that’s what I was hoping for.

“At the same time, I’m thankful to have another year there because I know a lot of guys who would love just a chance to just be on a team, so I’m very thankful.”