26 years old
PFF rating of +6.3 in 348 snaps, qualifying him as the 9th best MLB who played at least 25% of his team's snaps
"If there is a quintessential "locker room guy," Rey is it. He's well-liked by his teammates, well-respected by his coaches and admired around Cincinnati. The fact that he has gone from undrafted special teams player to rising backup linebacker star is a testament to Rey's attitude and work ethic. When Mike Zimmer was still the Bengals defensive coordinator, he spoke often about how Rey would be among those putting in extra time studying opponents' film and breaking down his own play."
Where would he fit in?
Solid LB depth, particularly backing up Sean Lee at MLB. RKG presence. Locker room glue guy. Could see him with some position flex at WLB, too. He's fast enough, having run a 4.58 40 out of college. Depending on how the draft goes, and if Bruce Carter leaves after this year, he could be a candidate to start at Will or even at Mike, moving Lee to Will.
In 3 games filling in for the injured Rey Maualuga, Vincent Rey racked up 32 tackles (22 solo), 3 sacks, and an interception.
What would it take to sign him?
Cincinnati wants to keep him. He is a restricted free agent and received the low-round tender of $1.4 million for 2014. This means that Cincinnati would get opportunity to match any offer Rey receives. If they did not match the offer, then they would normally be compensated by receiving a draft pick to match the round the player was originally drafted by the new team. However, since Rey was an UDFA coming out of college, any new time that signs him will not have to compensate the Bengals.
Already, another low-round Bengals tender, Andrew Hawkins, has received an offer from Cleveland: 4 years, $13.6 million, with $10.8 of that paid in the first 2 years. Cincinnati is not expected to match.
Clearly, the Cowboys shouldn't offer that much to Rey, but they might not have to. Rey might be 3rd choice at MLB for the Bengals. Rey Maualuga is the starter and there is some talk that the preferred move if he went down or struggled would be to have Vontaze Burfict move over to the mike. Where does that leave Rey?
Perhaps Cincinnati, who doesn't spend a lot in FA, wouldn't be able to justify much for a reserve LB, even one who is well liked.
And what's the harm in trying, provided the Cowboys would be willing to offer more than the tender? At worst, the Bengals match and nothing is lost.
Young player, good performance when called upon, improving, team first guy, potentially cheap. I like it.