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Tuesday links and notes; more reaction to Houshmandzadeh's departure; taking a quick look at FA centers

+ When MRIs become a formality. Oh how we love this. Now that he signed his deal with the Seattle Seahawks, it's being reported that Houshmandzadeh is getting an MRI as a formality. Joe Reedy makes the point that since he's being paid well, that the MRI could be standard to make sure they are getting a healthy wide receiver. Every player typically receives a physical before they are signed just in case guys like Jim Bowden are dealing undisclosed injured players. But an MRI? We're not sure how many instances we've hard of this being a formality.

What's impressive is that overall reaction around the community of blogs is fairly sided with the Bengals, rather the receiver. Can't place blame | Did it the right way | Not really upset | Blessing in disguise.

James Walker points out that by making a run for Laveranues Coles, that the Bengals have little to no confidence in their younger receivers, which reestablishes the long standing argument. Who the hell are drafting these guys? An alternative point is that the Bengals are positioning themselves to letting Chad Johnson go, either their trade or outright release (the latter will bring Cincinnati into a riot).

C Trent agrees, saying, "now it's time for Andre Caldwell, Jerome Simpson, Chris Henry and Chad Ocho Cinco to step up." His point is that another 31-year old receiver isn't the biggest need.

Carson Palmer says after Houshmandzadeh's departure, "we'll be OK."

+ The Bengals have yet to address center in free agency, a position that's long been underachieving since Rich Braham's retirement after two games in 2006. Matt Birk is expected to visit the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday. Other centers available include:

  • Jeremy Newbery, Chargers
  • Melvin Fowler, Bills
  • Tom Nalen, Broncos
  • Chris Gray, Seahawks
  • Al Johnson, Dolphins
  • Nick Leckey, Rams
  • Chris Morris, Raiders
  • Rudy Niswanger, Chiefs
  • Scott Peters, Cardinals
  • Duke Preston, Bills

Moving on.

The Miami Dolphins signed former Raiders center, Jack Grove, to a five-year deal worth $30 million. Jason Brown signed a five-year deal worth $37.5 million with $20 million guaranteed. Center Eric Ghiaciuc is testing the market, writes Joe Reedy, however, he could be re-signed. Oh, joy.

Any interest for Vonnie Holliday?

While saying that Laveranues Coles would find a fit with Cincinnati more lucrative, Matt Bowen writes, "He would get to play with quarterback Carson Palmer and line up opposite Chad Ocho Cinco Johnson. Receivers always go where they’re going to get the ball and where they see the best option at the quarterback position."

NFP position rankings in the upcoming draft includes the following running backs.

    1. Knowshon Moreno, Georgia (5-11, 208)
    2. Chris Wells, Ohio State (6-1, 237)
    3. Shonn Greene, Iowa (5-11, 235)
    4. LeSean McCoy, Pittsburgh (5-11, 210)
    5. Donald Brown, Connecticut (5-10, 210)
    6. Rashad Jennings, Liberty (6-1, 232)
    7. Jeremiah Johnson, Oregon (5-9, 208)
    8. Andre Brown, N.C. State (6-0 224)
    9. Glen Coffee, Alabama (6-0, 209)
    10. Javon Ringer, Michigan State (5-9, 205)

Both Ray Lewis and Derrick Brooks are available in free agency. Who would have thought that the market for those two would be so quiet?