Bengals release veteran LT Jones

BY Alex Marvez • May 6, 2009

Left tackle Levi Jones was released Wednesday by the Cincinnati Bengals, who spent their first-round draft pick on his replacement.

Jones has been bothered by knee and leg problems in recent years. The club notified him before the draft that it planned to trade or release him. The Bengals took tackle Andre Smith from Alabama with the sixth overall pick in the draft.

Jones, 29, has started 89 games for the Bengals since being the 10th overall pick in the 2002 draft.

Smith worked at left tackle last week during Cincinnati's rookie minicamp.

"Levi is looking forward to the next phase of his professional career," agent Kenny Zuckerman told in an email. "According to the Bengals, there are about five teams that have expressed sincere interest in obtaining his services. We will evaluate all of our options and find a good landing spot for Levi."

The Bengals tried trading Jones but found no suitors. That likely stems from the fact Jones' release appeared imminent. Also, any team that swung a trade would have to assume the $16.5 million in non-guaranteed base salaries remaining on the final four years of his contract.

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