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Bengals Bytes (2/19): Into the sunset

A common theme is appearing in mock draft for the Bengals. How will the salary cap jump effect free agency? One of the best pass rushers of this generation is calling it quits.

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5 moves the Bengals, Browns, Ravens and Steelers should make this offseason
The NFL season ended less than two weeks ago, but teams are already beginning to make moves in advance of the new league year, and with the NFL combine next week in Indianapolis, vacations are already over for many. In addition to the scouting bonanza to come, front offices are figuring out their free-agent plans and identifying players they'll want to retain on their rosters heading into the new league year, which begins March 9.

Former Bengals player giving $10,000 college scholarship to a local student athlete
Former Bengals player and current real estate developer Chinedum Ndukwe will give a Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati area minority high school student $10,000 towards their college education. The scholarship, funded through the Ndukwe Foundation, will be given to an applicant for the 2016-2017 who submits a short essay before April 10.

Haslett wades into next assignment
Jim Haslett may be the 1979 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and he may have returned to coach the Steelers defense in his hometown of Pittsburgh and he may have been named NFL Coach of the Year in 2000 after his first year with the Saints. But at age 60 and in his fifth different decade in the NFL, all that doesn’t prevent him from showing up at his new office at 3:30 a.m. when he can’t sleep. That allows him to put a dent in the grading of video cutups of prospects as the Bengals new linebackers coach gets ready for next week’s NFL scouting combine.

WRs remain trend for Cincinnati Bengals in Mel Kiper's latest mock
Four mock drafts in, ESPN draft analysts Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. remain in agreement as it relates to the Cincinnati Bengals. Both believe the Bengals will target a receiver with their pick in the first round. First it was both pegging Will Fuller (Notre Dame) as an option in their initial mocks, and then it was Braxton Miller (Ohio State).

Random Bytes

Laremy Tunsil is 2016 NFL draft's top tackle, possible No. 1 pick
The tackle at the top of most mock drafts is an unknown to the majority of football fans. Here’s a little background on the mammoth man from Mississippi. Plus notes on Jared Goff, Ezekiel Elliott, Myles Jack and more.

George Fant aims to wow NFL scouts
After playing four seasons of basketball for the WKU Hilltoppers, George Fant followed the path of several NFL players such as Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzales and Jimmy Graham and made the transition from the hardwood to the gridiron. Now, Bengals OT Jake Fisher is helping the NFL prospect prepare for his Pro Day.

Mel Kiper releases his second mock draft for 2016 - NFL
Will the Cowboys take a quarterback early, even with Tony Romo coming back healthy? After a season in which the lack of a competent backup cost them a playoff spot, Mel Kiper thinks they could.

Exclusive with editor of Bill Simmons’s The Ringer
Bill Simmons’s new venture, The Ringer, was announced on Wednesday, and the site's editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey gave SI.com an exclusive interview. In an exclusive interview with Sports Illustrated, Fennessey outlined the vision of The Ringer—the content will be a mix of sports, pop culture, tech writing, food and drink and possibly national affairs—as well as staffing levels and goals. He also addressed publicly for the first time why he turned down ESPN.

9 ways the NFL has been screwing people on the path to billions
A lot of folks were shocked to learn earlier this week that oft-maligned NFL commissioner Roger Goodell earned $34.1 million in 2014. But when you consider that the league’s revenues have skyrocketed for much of Goodell’s reign, and that CNN Money estimated it would pull in about $13 billion in 2015 revenue, it’s not difficult to come to grips with the notion that the league’s de facto CEO is being paid like one of the nation’s top executives.

How $1 billion in cap space could alter NFL free agency
If you're even moderately interested in NFL contracts, you know the salary cap has risen $10 million in each of the past two years. You've probably heard it will go up at least that much in 2016, giving it a 25 percent hike since 2013.

Jared Allen's Wild Career Epitomized the Best and Worst of NFL Stardom
With a perfectly in-character video posted to Jared Allen's official Twitter account, one of the NFL's most prolific sack artists of all time has announced his retirement. Allen, whose brief stint with the Carolina Panthers ended with his only Super Bowl appearance, finishes tied with Green Bay Packers linebacker Julius Peppers for ninth on the NFL's official career sack list with 136. He boasts five Pro Bowl nods and four First-Team All-Pro nominations in his impressive 12-year career.

The Most Underrated NFL Free Agents on the Market in 2016
While the idea of signing the big-name free agent may sound appetizing to fans around the NFL, there are always the guys we ignore who end up shining later. The big-name guys seem to always get the franchise tag. With Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller and Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman headlining this NFL free-agent class, it is easy to forget about the other guys. And those are often the pieces who assist in formulating a run to the Super Bowl.