The Cincinnati Bengals still have interest in bringing back Reggie Nelson but haven't come to an agreement with the safety and his representation, coach Marvin Lewis said Tuesday at the owners meetings in Boca Raton, Florida.
"In any situation both parties have to agree to agree," Lewis said, "and we just haven't agreed to agree with Reggie yet."
Pushed about whether that meant the free-agent defensive back was still an option to re-sign, Lewis balked before adding: "As far as I know it is. But that's not my responsibility."
Three weeks into free agency, Nelson still hasn't been signed despite coming off arguably the best season of his career. He had a league-leading eight interceptions, recovered two fumbles and had 72 tackles. He also was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time. An injury suffered in the Bengals' playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers kept him from playing in the Pro Bowl a few weeks later.
Nelson, who turns 33 at the start of the season, has reportedly had conversations with the Tennessee Titans. The nine-year veteran has spent the past six seasons with the Bengals.
Cincinnati has otherwise been busy retaining other key secondary pieces during this free-agency period. Safety George Iloka and cornerback Adam Jones re-signed the first week. The Bengals also reportedly added safety Taylor Mays last week but have yet to make his signing official. Before spending the 2015 season with Minnesota, Detroit and Oakland, Mays was in Cincinnati the previous four years. Although he's been listed as a safety, Mays likely would reprise his old nickel linebacker role.