Brown is signing a one-year contract with the Bengals, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com reports.

A 2014 third-round pick, Brown tied for the NFL lead with 144 tackles last season, but he didn't have a hand in any sacks or turnovers. His tackle totals have gone up each year in the league, from 109 (2014) to 120 (2015) to 139 (2016) to 144. This signing will add fuel to the fire of Vontaze Burfict trade rumors, though it's possible the Bengals envision Brown and Burfict playing alongside each other, given that the team's other linebackers are underwhelming. The 25-year-old Brown is a stat accumulator more so than a true standout talent, but he'll at least be an upgrade on Vincent Rey and Nick Vigil (ankle), a duo that combined for 1,365 defensive snaps last season. A trade involving Burfict would leave Brown and Vigil as the favorites for three-down roles, with Rey, Jordan Evans and others likely competing for snaps in the base defense. It also isn't out of the question that Cincinnati adds linebacking talent in the draft, though there now appears to be greater needs on the roster.

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