Miller signs three-year deal with Bengals
From Staff and Wire Reports

July 31, 2004 - GEORGETOWN, Ky. - Linebacker Caleb Miller, a graduate of Sulphur Springs High School, signed a three-year contract with the Cincinnati Bengals Friday on the eve of the opening of training camp.

Miller, a third-round pick by the Bengals after an All-SEC senior season at the University of Arkansas, was one of six draft picks the Bengals came to terms with on Friday.

Details of the contract were not disclosed by the club, which reported Miller was at camp and ready to suit up for the opening practice at 8:45 a.m. today at Georgetown College.

Only two of the Bengal's draft picks were unsigned, according to head coach Marvin Lewis.

"Hopefully those things will get finished as quick as possible," said head coach Marvin Lewis. "The (rookie pool) pie's only so big and however the chunks get allocated and who can get a smidgen more or less here or there will be fine. It's better to be proactive and (sign) early than reactive and late."

Safety Madieu Williams, the second of the team's two second-round picks, signed a four-year deal. Third-round picks Miller and Landon Johnson, both linebackers, as well as fourth-rounders Matthias Askew (defensive tackle), Robert Geathers (defensive end) and Stacy Andrews (offensive tackle) all signed three-year contracts.

The Bengals had previously signed fifth-round wide receiver Maurice Mann, sixth-round cornerback Greg Brooks and seventh-round quarterback Casey Bramlet, as well as Carson Palmer, the team's top draft choice.

The major reason the signings took a little longer is that the Bengals are attaching clauses to off-season workouts in the early-to-mid rounds that amount to a payback of the signing bonus to the club if they don't have 100 percent participation. Other teams have similar arrangements, but the numbers vary between 80 and 90 percent.

"I don't think it's as Draconian as some are making it out to be," said Kyle Rote Jr., Miller's agent. "I have faith that Marvin is going to administer the program fairly. If it had been a different head coach, it might be another story, but I trust him."

Rich Moran, the agent for Andrews, said he signed the deal after making sure there was language that workouts could be made up because of emergencies or special circumstances.

"Once we were clear on that, the 100 percent didn't bother me," Moran said. "We encourage all clients to be there all the time."

Two other SSHS graduates have already reported to training camp. Damione Lewis, a fourth-year defensive tackle for the Los Angeles Rams, opened camp July 28 at Western Illinois University, while Tyreo Harrison, a third-year linebacker, began his first season with the Green Bay Packers when training camp opened yesterday in Wisconsin.

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