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Bengals sign QB Matthews to one-year deal

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=bengalsmatthews&prov=st&type=lgns

May 31, 2003

CINCINNATI (Ticker) - The Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday signed quarterback Shane Matthews in a move that perhaps could signal the end for Akili Smith.

Matthews started seven games for the Washington Redskins last season and was signed as a free agent by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March. However, after drafting quarterback Chris Simms in April, the Bucs waived Matthews.

Ironically, the Bengals selected Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Carson Palmer with the first pick in the draft, but plan to keep Jon Kitna as the starter and wanted an experienced backup.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is familiar with Matthews, who started seven games for the Redskins last season when Lewis was the team's defensive coordinator.

"Shane is an experienced NFL quarterback who has proven he can win games," Lewis said. "He has impressed me particularly as a very competitive guy. He can provide an element of stability to our football team."

Matthews, 32, was juggled with Danny Wuerffel and rookie Patrick Ramsey at the quarterback spot by Redskins coach Steve Spurrier and threw for 1,251 yards and 11 touchdowns with nine interceptions for a 72.6 rating.

A 10-year veteran, Matthews spent seven seasons with the Chicago Bears and two with the Carolina Panthers before reuniting with his college coach Spurrier in the nation's capital. He has passed for 4,712 yards and 30 touchdowns with 27 interceptions for a rating of 74.4.

Smith, the third overall pick in the 1999 draft after quarterbacks Tim Couch and Donovan McNabb, never lived up to his billing with the Bengals and may be waived in June for salary cap purposes.

Updated on Saturday, May 31, 2003 1:18 pm EDT

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