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Remember the rumor of a Bengals General Manager; three players still unsigned

+ Remember the day of the GM rumor? In late December, a PFT blurb was published that said "there’s talk that the franchise is considering" a move for the Bengals to hire a general manager.

The first name tied to the Bengals, we’re told, is Randy Mueller. The former Saints and Dolphins G.M. currently works in the Chargers’ front office, and Mueller’s star is ascending again because of the resurgence of the Dolphins. Though most of the credit for Miami’s performance will go to Parcells, Ireland, and Sparano, a lot of the players were brought to town with the involvement of Mueller.

In truth, the point, we assumed at the time, was that the Bengals were looking into that direction, confusing some into thinking that the Bengals were hiring a general manager. Quickly, it came to light that the source of the rumor wasn't with the organization or even with the league. There's been no reports, news, rumors, theories or even the words "general manager" and "Bengals" in the same sentence since.

+ A case of the unsigned. Not that we suspect it won't happen, but Brandon Johnson, Rashad Jeanty and Shayne Graham are still technically unsigned (confirmed through NFLPA). In the case of Johnson and Jeanty, the Bengals tendered both linebackers $1.545 million -- the second-round compensation level. Neither have put pen to paper yet, probably hoping that another team comes around offering a better deal, in which the Bengals will be forced to match.

Both players have until April 17 to negotiate with any club, and the final date for a team to match would be April 24 -- it's seven days after the offer sheet is signed. There's no reason to believe that Johnson or Jeanty won't sign if another team doesn't offer a deal by April 17. Note, they do not have to sign by this date, and the Bengals could withdrawal their original qualifying offer by June 15 and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by substituting the tender of 110% of the player's salary the previous season.

Shayne Graham can basically sign whenever he wants, with a deadline into the tenth week of the 2009 NFL season. However, this probably wouldn't be smart to do, and signing him is just a matter of time.