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Ranking the off-season

If you try hard enough, you can always find something to talk about with the NFL. Like the Ricky Williams testing positive for pot, again. Or swapping a pre-season game for regular season games so fans won't lose out on a home game while the NFL whores itself out to Europe and Asia. Or the idiotic debate whether touchdown celebrations should be allowed or not. Or tiring trade demands from Chicago Bears players. Or the unlikely pout job by Brett Favre going after one of the worst players you could have on your team -- even worse than T. O. Or the NFL looking to shorten up the first round of the draft -- please, god. Or the irony that Keyshawn Johnson was at the draft while the Panthers drafted Dwayne Jarrett; then saying he's just like him, then being cut three days later. Or Michael Vick living in a doggy-dog world.

It's all there.

Fox Sports' Peter Schrager ranks the off-season, per team, in the latest "off-season-bores-me" piece:

21. Cincinnati Bengals

All Jay Leno monologue-style jokes aside, the fact that no Bengals players' names were in the police blotter this off-season marked a positive three-month start for Cincinnati. The Chris Henry suspension hurts, and it makes the loss of Kelley Washington all the more pressing. But Cincinnati picked up some new players over the past three months. Leon Hall, their first round pick out of Michigan, was the top rated cornerback on many teams' draft boards, while Kenny Irons will help carry the load with Rudi Johnson (both players went to Auburn). Alex Stepanovich comes over from Arizona, where he was the Cardinals starting center for years. Michael Myers, formerly of Denver, and Edgerton Hartwell, formerly of the Falcons, join the defense. The loss of Eric Steinbach, a Pro Bowl-caliber offensive guard, hurts.

Biggest gain: Leon Hall, CB
Biggest loss: Eric Steinbach, OG

Are they in better shape than they were in January? Despite a mid-season slide, the Bengals were a few tough breaks short of an AFC Wildcard spot last season. They lose two receiving options in Washington and Henry, and a potential star offensive lineman in Steinbach. Carson Palmer starts the season 100 percent healthy, though, and the defense picked up some key playmakers. After a one-year absence, look for Cincy to be back in the playoffs come January.

The Browns came in 10th.
The Ravens came in 23rd.
The Steelers came in 25th.

Meet Leon Hall.

Sports Illustrated