Bengals trying to pull off inside jobs
While other teams braced for the NFL’s new year on March 10 by jettisoning some mainstays (pass rusher Trent Cole in Philadelphia, running back Pierre Thomas in New Orleans and center Chris Myers in Houston) and restructuring contracts (Peyton Manning in Denver), the Bengals didn’t have to do either Wednesday as they ratcheted up talks with their impending free agents. Cincinnati is trying to wrap up a couple of deals before free agency opens, maybe as soon as the end of this week, in an attempt to keep their offensive line intact and begin the effort to shore up their linebackers corps.
Cincinnati Bengals' biggest free-agency needs, top targets, predictions - NFL - E$PN
Cincinnati ended 2014 with losses in Pittsburgh and Indianapolis, where the defense with its league-low 20 sacks failed to generate pressure on the quarterback. The defense has to find an edge rusher to pair up with Carlos Dunlap and complement Geno Atkins in the middle. Dunlap and Atkins produced 45.3 percent of the defense's quarterback hits (including sacks) in 2014. The linebackers should be healthier and the defense has already used premium resources on cornerbacks in the draft -- both Dre Kirkpatrick (2012) and Darqueze Dennard (2014) were first-round picks. The pass rush is where this team has skimped in recent years, missing on veteran signing James Harrison and losing Michael Johnson to Tampa Bay.
Cincinnati Bengals making character more a priority in draft after turbulent times of the mid 2000s | cleveland.com
Mike Pettine spent nearly half of last season winning football games - and the other half trying not to lose his mind. In his first year with the Browns, the head coach was forever answering questions about young players and their off-field issues. A seven-win season was almost overshadowed by discussion of missed meetings, failed drug tests, immature behavior and inflatable swan rides. The foibles of Johnny Manziel, Josh Gordon, Justin Gilbert and, to a lesser degree, Terrance West made lots of news.
A quick update to the Cincinnati Bengals' salary-cap space - ESPN
Last week, with the help of ESPN Stats & Information, we looked at the previous projection for the Cincinnati Bengals' salary-cap space based on their top-51 contract commitments and money they rolled over from last season. At that time, it was expected the Bengals would have about $36.5 million in cap space when the new league year opened next week.
With so much current focus on whether the Patriots will find a way to keep cornerback Darrelle Revis, they've decided not to keep defensive tackle Vince Wilfork. Wilfork has announced that the team told him Tuesday the his option for 2015 won't be picked up.
The Steelers have already started thinking about Troy Polamalu's retirement, but Polamalu himself hasn't quite gotten there. According to his agent, the veteran safety is up in the air about his future.
It's impossible to prove a negative, but with each passing day, it seems more and more likely that the Dez Bryant video—the subject, over the last two weeks, of rumors so intense that they were, in themselves, semi-legitimate news—simply doesn't exist.