CINCINNATI — Preston Brown didn’t feel a need to check his phone and make a salary comparison during the NFL free agency period this month.
The Bengals announced Wednesday they have re-signed the Cincinnati native and 2010 Northwest High School graduate to a three-year contract through the 2021 season.
Brown, entering his sixth NFL season, had been due to become an unrestricted free agent at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
“Last year, I was kind of checking my phone looking at it and seeing how much they got and like, ‘Oh I can do better than him,’ and stuff like that,” Brown told reporters at Paul Brown Stadium Wednesday morning.
“This year – it was whatever happened then it happened. I was going to be me and whoever wanted me I was fine with that. It was great to be back here.”
Brown, 26, joined the Bengals last off-season as an unrestricted free agent after spending his first four seasons (2014-17) with the Buffalo Bills.
In 2018, Brown was the No. 1 middle linebacker and recorded 42 tackles and two interceptions despite being limited by ankle and knee injuries to just seven games (all starts).
“I hated watching myself on film the way I was hopping around,” Brown said. “It wasn’t me and it wasn’t fun to look like that.”
Brown told reporters he was cleared last week for his ankle issue. It was tough to miss a lot of time in 2018 but he wants to help the team in any way possible. He believes the AFC North is wide open.
“I will be ready to go once we start OTAs (organized team activities) start (April 9),” Brown said.
Brown said he spoke with Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo about schemes for this upcoming season.
“He said it was going to be multiple – some 4-3, some 3-4 things – you never know how it’s going to shake out exactly,” Brown said. “But once we get through OTAs and see how guys look in different sets and things we will kind of shake that out as we go along. But, I think they have a good feel for the players that are here and hopefully get some new guys through free agency and the draft as well.”
Prior to joining the Bengals, he had played in all 64 possible regular-season games (62 starts) since entering the NFL in 2014. He originally was the Bills’ third-round draft pick (73rd overall) from the University of Louisville in the 2014 draft.