The Bengals talked again Monday with the agent for Jamie Martin, and the former Rams' backup/part-time starter could be the fourth quarterback the Bengals take to training camp.
If a deal could be reached, Martin would join Craig Krenzel and Doug Johnson in the battle for two roster spots behind Carson Palmer.
With the Dolphins favored to engineer a trade with the Lions and sign Joey Harrington, the Bengals again are turning toward Martin.
"If Harrington is gone, we'll move forward with it," said Tom Mills, Martin's agent. "The contract would still need to be negotiated, and there are some material issues. Jamie would just as well not play as play for the minimum."
Palmer's rehab from reconstructive surgery to his left knee is going well, but questions remain whether he can be ready for the first month of the season.
The Bengals are in a tough spot. They have more than $30 million invested in Palmer this year alone, and they are trying to sign a fourth quarterback who possibly could be the opening-day starter.
On Monday, the first day of the team's offseason strength and conditioning program, Johnson and Krenzel both said their goal was to be the starter in September if Palmer is unable to play.
If the Bengals sign Martin, any two of the three besides Palmer could be on the 53-man roster to start the season.
Johnson, who arrived Sunday night, previously had spent three days in Cincinnati with quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese.
"Kind of got my feet wet a little," Johnson said. "I'm trying to settle in and be ready for training camp and be where we need to be."
Krenzel started five games as a rookie with the Bears in 2004.
"That's my goal," he said, when asked if he could be the first-game starter. "I want to be prepared and be good enough to do that."