The team had been trying to talk Fanene into a multi-year deal but Fanene opted to take a shorter term and hit the free agent market next season.
Fanene is entering his seventh season in the league since the Bengals drafted him in 2005.
He played in just two games last year as he suffered an injured hamstring.
In 2009, he tallied a career high six sacks to go along with 36 tackles.
John Clayton is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.