Source: Alexander, Bengals reach deal

The Cincinnati Bengals, who finished the season with two disappointing losses, started the offseason strong Wednesday by retaining offensive line coach Paul Alexander, according to a source.

Alexander agreed to a three-year deal to stay with the Bengals, the source said. The Washington Redskins were among a few teams that had Alexander on their radar. After thinking about those opportunities, Alexander, a loyal member of the Bengals coaching staff since 1992, decided not to move and agreed to the deal.

His re-signing, along with the three-year deal signed earlier this week by defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, were two of the most important coaching moves of the offseason. Zimmer was under consideration by the Redskins and New York Giants, but, like Alexander, he opted to stay.

The Bengals rebounded from a 4-12 season in 2008 by making the playoffs with a 10-6 record. They lost to the New York Jets last week in the AFC wild-card round.

John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com.