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Bengals Bytes (2/17): Valuable Advice

It may be time for Vontaze Burfict to change things up a little bit. Roger Goodell's salary from 2014 is now public knowledge, and the internet had some fun with it. Darqueze Dennard shares details from his combine experience.

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Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Combine challenge
The NFL shifts to Indianapolis and the scouting combine next week, so you’ll forgive Bengals cornerback Darqueze Dennard if he winces just a bit. Dennard, the 24th pick in the 2014 draft, checked off all the boxes that year, ranging from character to intelligence to college production. But that didn’t make his stay in Indy anything to write home about.

Bengals' Eifert on FTW's best team Goodell's salary can buy
USA TODAY Sports' FTW! blog assembled what it considers the best 22-man starting lineup you can put together with the $34.1 million commissioner Roger Goodell was paid in 2014. Tight end Tyler Eifert is the lone representative from the Bengals.

Mohamed Sanu a free agent Cincinnati Bengals should be able to keep
Free agency officially begins in less than a month as the 2016 league year gets underway. Which of the Cincinnati Bengals’ 15 unrestricted free agents will be back under their control that day? It's a question both the players and the team will spend the next four weeks scrambling to answer. Before we get too deep into the offseason, let's take a daily look at each of Cincinnati's free agents. Tuesday, we continue with: WR Mohamed Sanu

It's time Vontaze Burfict follows in the steps of James Harrison
There was a time when James Harrison's overly physical style of play put him underneath the same NFL microscope that's now being directed upon Vontaze Burfict. Harrison's days of dealing with it appear to be over. Burfict's are just beginning.

Bengals expected to make major push to retain linebacker Vincent Rey
Valued for his productivity, instincts, versatility and character, Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vincent Rey has built a strong reputation in NFL circles. Now that Rey, 28, is a pending unrestricted free agent, the Bengals are expected to make a major push to retain the team captain with a new deal. Nothing is imminent, though.

Andy Dalton: LUGGAGE ADVICE ... From Bengals Teammate
Andy Dalton's teammates want the QB to stop losing his bags -- and now, one of his defensive linemen is offering up some advice on how to prevent your luggage from going MIA when he travels.  We spoke with Domata Peko at LAX -- who says he's NEVER had the Dalton problem ... but definitely feels bad for the guy after AD lost his bags TWICE in the same week.  There's more to the clip ...

Random Bytes

Q&A: Rachel Nichols on her new role at ESPN
The afternoon sports studio show that does not involve NFL content has always been a tough sell, so it will be interesting to see how ESPN host/reporter Rachel Nichols fares in her new role. After leaving ESPN for a three-year stop at CNN and TNT, Nichols is back at the sports network and will host The Jump, a half-hour NBA-focused program originating from ESPN’s Los Angeles studios airing weekdays at 3:30 p.m. ET. The debut show comes on Thursday.

How defensive packages impacted yards per carry in 2015
Mike Clay analyzes the impact of each defensive personnel package on rushing production. Injuries annihilated the running back position last year, so we don’t have quite as many success stories, but we do have enough of a sample to believe that this is a worthwhile study.

Manning, Kroenke, Cam Newton among NFL's Most Influential People
Preseason rankings are always fun to look back on. In the offseason we unveiled our list of the figures we anticipated would most profoundly shape the 2015 NFL season. Here’s what it would have looked like if we knew then what we know now.

The best NFL team Roger Goodell’s salary can buy
Roger Goodell makes a ridiculous amount of money. ESPN reported Tuesday the NFL paid its commissioner $34.1 million in 2014. That’s more than any single player made last season by a significant margin. NFL players’ contracts have to be the worst in all of major professional sports. They are so bad, you could put together an incredible roster of talent with Goodell’s compensation in 2014 alone. And that’s exactly what we did. Here is the best 22-man starting lineup you can put together with $34.1 million.

Who do experts think each team will pick in the 2016 NFL Draft?
It's draft season and all the experts are taking their shot at guessing how the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft will go, beginning with the Tennessee Titans picking first and ending with the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos. By surveying as many mock drafts as possible, we can get a good idea of the directions experts expect most teams to go. And who doesn't love pie charts?

Jaguars DT Sen'Derrick Marks critical of Roger Goodell’s salary
Jaguars defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks was critical of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's high salary. A tax filing from the NFL revealed Goodell made $34.1 million in 2014. Goodell made $35 million the year before and $44 million in salary in 2012. Tuesday, Marks criticized Goodell for making his salary while others complain about players seeking raises.

Biggest Storylines to Watch for During 2016 NFL Offseason
The NFL offseason is in full swing, and there are a ton of juicy storylines to keep an eye on through the draft and beyond. Will Peyton Manning finally retire? How hot will Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett's seat be when next season comes around? Could everyone's favorite scandal, Deflategate, soon be back in the headlines?

Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins break off contract negotiations
The Washington Redskins have broken off negotiations with quarterback Kirk Cousins, a team source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Tuesday. No further talks are scheduled, the source told Schefter. Another source recently told ESPN that the two sides were not close in earlier discussions and that the gap had not been closed in the ensuing weeks.