A good week just got even better for Devon Still and his family.
The defensive tackle re-signed Thursday morning with the Cincinnati Bengals. The news of his renewed deal comes two days after Still reported progress in his 4-year-old daughter Leah's fight with a rare pediatric cancer.
His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, tweeted out the news before the team later confirmed the move.
Congrats to Devon Still on signing his contract with the Bengals. It has truly been a special week for you and your family.— Drew Rosenhaus (@RosenhausSports) March 19, 2015
"It's great to have Devon back with us," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said in a statement. "We know it has been a very difficult journey for him the last year. Devon remains focused on Leah's recovery and on furthering his NFL career, and we're excited to be able to provide that opportunity."
Still was scheduled to be a Bengals restricted free agent, but the team declined to extend him a restricted free-agent tender on March 10 and instead offered him a one-year contract that had to be worth less than $1.54 million low-round tender he would have been inked to as a restricted free agent. In doing that, the Bengals formally made Still an unrestricted free agent, giving him the option to talk with other teams. While he mulled the Bengals' offer, Still had to determine what best aligned with his daughter's well-being.
"Now that it looks like things are headed on the right path, I'm ready to go back and play football," Still said in the team's statement.
Leah became part of one of sports' feel-good stories last fall. In September, her father made national headlines when he was added to the Bengals' 53-man roster after having been originally cut by the team at the end of training camp. Days after he was cut, Still -- a Bengals 2012 second-round pick -- was signed to Cincinnati's practice squad. He only spent one week there before being activated to the 53-man roster in Week 2. He went on to play 12 games last season, collecting 19 tackles.
When they signed him to the practice squad, the Bengals could continue to provide health insurance for Still, giving him the ability to have Leah's medical care completely paid for. At the time, he had been told that her medical expenses would cost close to $1 million.
Leah was diagnosed in June with Stage 4 neuroblastoma, a disease that doctors originally said gave her a 50-50 chance of surviving.
After she underwent surgeries to remove a cancerous tumor from her stomach, and going through rounds of chemotherapy and stem-cell treatments, her prognosis has improved dramatically. On Tuesday, Still announced via Instagram that doctors didn't "see any active disease" in Leah's body.
"We still have to wait for her MRI and bone biopsy results later this week," Still wrote in the caption of a picture showing him and Leah flexing their muscles.
Still has reiterated that doctors haven't yet said she's cancer-free, but they "feel very optimistic" that that could soon be the case.
In November, during a nationally televised game against Cleveland, the Bengals donated $1.25 million to the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center as part of fundraising efforts to advance research into pediatric cancers. The funds were collected through sales of Still's black No. 75 Bengals jersey. Leah was in attendance that night, and she has done even more to help fight the disease. In January, she partnered with her father in writing a children's book to help other families who have children with cancer.
Still likely will remain a backup at defensive tackle when he returns to Cincinnati later this year. Last offseason, he was coming off back surgery and had an elbow to rehab ahead of training camp. Those injuries, coupled with a hamstring injury, slowed his progress through training camp last year, giving the Bengals a reason to cut him.