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Bengals sign picks McCarron, Westbrooks

5/22/2014

Quarterback AJ McCarron is now officially under contract with the Cincinnati Bengals.

The team announced Thursday afternoon that its fifth-round pick, as well as its seventh-round cornerback selection, Lavelle Westbrooks, had signed their rookie contracts. No financial details were provided, but both are expected to make just under $500,000 in base salary in 2014, according to the rookie wage scale outlined by the NFL's latest collective bargaining agreement.

We'll update those official numbers when we get them.

McCarron and Westbrooks became the third and fourth Bengals draft picks to sign, joining sixth-round pick Marquis Flowers and seventh-round receiver James Wright. Flowers and Wright signed their contracts Wednesday, according to the Bengals.

A three-time national champion and starter on Alabama's past two national title teams, McCarron brings a measure of success to a quarterback group that has seen its share of changes this offseason. Backups Josh Johnson and Zac Robinson were released by the Bengals this offseason, and fellow former Crimson Tide quarterback Greg McElroy left on his own, venturing into retirement after just three years in the league. The former Bengals practice-squad quarterback now works for ESPN as an analyst for the SEC Network.

The Bengals added Jason Campbell and Matt Scott this offseason. As a 10-year veteran, Campbell brings a level of experience to the position. Scott joins the roster after having served as Jacksonville's practice-squad quarterback all of last season. He was released by the Jaguars last week.

Andy Dalton remains the Bengals' starting quarterback. McCarron enters next week's organized team activities (OTAs) as the likely No. 3 player at the position.

Westbrooks started 41 games at Georgia Southern, where he earned second-team All-Southern Conference honors in 2013.

Cincinnati's four remaining unsigned draft picks are first-round cornerback Darqueze Dennard, second-round running back Jeremy Hill, third-round defensive end Will Clarke and fourth-round center Russell Bodine.