Domata Peko signs extension

CINCINNATI -- The Bengals signed defensive tackle Domata Peko to a two-year contract extension Thursday, ensuring the veteran lineman stays with the club through the 2016 season.

"Domata has been a significant and productive player for our defense for many years now, and we are excited to extend his time here even longer," coach Marvin Lewis said. "He is a leader among our veterans and a mentor for our younger players, and securing his future as a Bengal through the next three seasons is another positive step in continuing to improve our team."

A fourth-round draft pick in 2006, Peko is entering his ninth season, all with Cincinnati. With his extension, the Bengals have four members of their defensive line in the fold for another three seasons. Defensive ends Carlos Dunlap and Margus Hunt were already signed through 2016, as was defensive tackle Geno Atkins.

Dunlap and Atkins signed deals last offseason that actually have them slated to stay in Cincinnati through the 2017 season.

The Bengals kept Peko primarily because of his experience and value as a team leader. He has been a charismatic and vocal presence in the locker room for much of his time with the Bengals, and his outgoing personality and community service impact also make him a fan favorite.

With 52 tackles and three sacks last season, Peko anchored a defensive line that lost Atkins to an ACL injury on Oct. 31. The Bengals also used Peko on offense, at times lining him up as an extra blocker in the backfield in short-yardage situations.

Peko was nearing the end of his second contract -- a five-year, $27.7 million extension that was signed entering his third season in June 2008. Before this latest extension, Peko's anticipated cap value for the 2014 season was around $4.2 million. He was slated to make a base salary just short of $4 million.