CINCINNATI -- The Bengals are re-signing linebacker Preston Brown, a source told ESPN's Dianna Russini.
Brown signed a one-year deal worth $5 million last year to return to his hometown after spending the first four seasons of his career with the Buffalo Bills. Although Brown played every game and almost 98 percent of the defensive snaps in Buffalo, he played only seven games in Cincinnati.
Brown injured his ankle in Week 1 and then tweaked it again in October. A late-season knee injury ultimately ended his year early.
The Bengals' three starting linebackers -- Brown, Vontaze Burfict and Nick Vigil -- never played in a game together due to a combination of injuries and suspensions. The Bengals had the worst overall defense and passing defense in the league in 2018, while their run defense ranked 29th, largely due to the struggles of their linebacker unit.
Brown is the Bengals' fourth re-signing of the free-agency period, joining right tackle Bobby Hart, tight end C.J. Uzomah and safety Brandon Wilson. The Bengals have not agreed to terms with any outside free agents.