Bengals finally sign top pick
CINCINNATI - Offensive tackle Andre Smith signed a contract Sunday with the Cincinnati Bengals, ending an impasse that dragged on a month into the preseason. The Bengals originally planned to have Smith start at right tackle, but he has missed all three preseason games. He was in Cincinnati and agreed to the deal shortly before the start of a late afternoon practice. "He has a lot of work to do, but he knows the challenge ahead of him to make an impact on our team as soon as possible," Coach Marvin Lewis said in a statement released as practice began. Smith, the sixth overall pick, was the highest unsigned NFL pick with one week left in the preseason. The Bengals had insisted on paying him less than a player taken later in the draft, Oakland's Darrius Heyward-Bey.Smith's contract leaves Michael Crabtree, drafted by San Francisco with the 10th overall pick, as the only first-round selection unsigned. Cutler gets revenge as Bears defeat Broncos DENVER - Jay Cutler got the last laugh. The Pro Bowl passer, who forced a blockbuster trade out of Denver last spring and became the Chicago Bears' first franchise quarterback since Sid Luckman, returned to Invesco Field on Sunday night and led his new team to a 27-17 preseason win against the Broncos. Cutler disregarded the thousands of hecklers, including Broncos pass-rusher Elvis Dumervil, in leading Chicago on three scoring drives, capped by a 12-play, 98-yarder just before halftime that gave the Bears a 17-3 lead. The adversary he left behind, Broncos rookie coach Josh McDaniels, had a distressing home debut, as did Denver's new quarterback, Kyle Orton, who gashed his right index finger to cut short a middling performance against his former team. PATRIOTS: Tedy Bruschi is retiring after a 13-year career marked by an inspiring return as a starting linebacker eight months after a stroke. The 36-year-old Bruschi is expected to announce his retirement at a news conference this morning. RAMS: Quarterback Marc Bulger, out since Aug. 17 after fracturing the pinky on his throwing hand, threw 21 passes in a side session in a morning practice.
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