Bengals sign Jeff Faine

The Cincinnati Bengals have signed former Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting center Jeff Faine.

Faine had been the Buccaneers' center since signing with the team four years ago.

He started 51 games for Tampa Bay.

Faine is a 10-year veteran who has 117 career starts, including stints with the Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay.

The 6-foot-3, 291-pounder was a first-round draft pick (21st overall) by Cleveland in 2003. After starting 36 games over three seasons with the Browns, he was traded to New Orleans for 2006.

He was selected as a Pro Bowl alternate in 2007 with the Saints.

After two seasons and 32 starts for New Orleans, he signed with Tampa Bay as an unrestricted free agent for 2008.

He was released by Tampa Bay on March 14.

Faine started 15 games for Tampa Bay last season, anchoring an offense that ranked 11th in fewest sacks allowed per passing play.

He was named a team captain for both the Saints and Buccaneers. Tampa Bay cut Faine shortly after signing All-Pro offensive guard Carl Nicks.

"I appreciate the leadership Jeff has provided to our franchise, both on and off the field," Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik said. "He has been a true professional during his time here. We wish him all the best and are confident he will have continued success in the future." NOTE: The Bengals cut rookie wide receiver Justin Hilton today to create a roster spot for Faine.

In three preseason games, he caught one pass for 30 yards.

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