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Bengals sign Frerotte to one-year contract


CINCINNATI (AP) _ The Cincinnati Bengals signed free agent quarterback Gus Frerotte to a one-year contract Wednesday after promising him he will be given the chance to compete for the No. 1 job with holdover starter Jon Kitna.

``Every player we take to training camp will be competing and the best players will play,'' Bengals coach Dick LeBeau said. ``Jon will be No. 1, yes, but everybody is in a competition.''

Also Wednesday, the Bengals terminated the contract of free safety Darryl Williams, the team's first-round draft pick in 1992.

Williams played with the Bengals from 1992-95, then spent four years with Seattle before returning to Cincinnati in 2000. He played in 15 games last year, but was a starter in just one.

The Bengals expect Frerotte, who played college football at the University of Tulsa, to be on hand Friday when the team opens its minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium. Training camp opens July 26 in Georgetown, Ky.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Frerotte's agent, Marvin Demoff, did not return a telephone message left for Demoff at his Los Angeles office.

Other quarterbacks on the Bengals' roster are Akili Smith, who is recovering from a severe hamstring tear suffered in December, backup Scott Covington and rookie free agent Gavin Hoffman.

Frerotte, 30, was a backup last season to Denver quarterback Brian Griese. Frerotte is entering his ninth NFL season. He started his pro career with Washington, later played for Detroit and has started in 61 NFL games, including two postseason games.

He was chosen for the Pro Bowl after the 1996 season with Washington, when he passed for a career-high 3,453 yards.

In 2000, his first season with Denver, Frerotte set a Broncos record with 462 passing yards against San Diego and tied the team record for touchdown passes with five in the same game. He started in six games for the Broncos in 2000.

His career statistics include 1,087 pass completions in 1,990 attempts (54.6 percent) for 13,970 yards, 69 touchdowns and 59 interceptions.
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