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Bengals Bytes (2/20): Playing the long game

Could the Bengals draft another talented but injured player in the first round? Heath Miller decides to end his career, and the Los Angeles Rams release some big names.

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Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Could Cincinnati Bengals use Cedric Ogbuehi blueprint on Jaylon Smith?
Before last April's NFL draft, offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi was drawing second-round projections from many who follow the draft process the closest. Scared by the torn ACL Ogbuehi suffered in Texas A&M's bowl game just five months prior, many believed the injury would cause the one-time first-round prospect to go into a free-fall when draft weekend arrived. If current prospect Jaylon Smith (OLB/Notre Dame) ever doubts his draft-weekend path, he only has to be told Ogbuehi's story.

Andy Dalton as 'ironman' shows how banged up AFC North QBs were
How banged up were the AFC North's quarterbacks this past season? Andy Dalton led them all in snaps, earning the unofficial title of division "ironman" at the position. In a close second place? Ben Roethlisberger, the Pittsburgh Steelers signal-caller who had his own share of injury concerns. A hat-tip goes to ESPN Baltimore Ravens reporter Jamison Hensley for highlighting Dalton's "ironman" status, and that of other AFC North players.

Connections run deep for new Bengals quarterbacks coach
On the surface, or even just below the surface, there wasn’t a connection between the Cincinnati Bengals new offensive coordinator and his new quarterbacks coach, Bill Lazor. And if one thing is always certain when it comes to NFL coaching circles, there are usually strong ties between coaches that lead to jobs. But in this case, the choice seemed a bit off.

Browns likely to pursue Bengals receiver Mohamed Sanu, who's set to move on
The Browns are expected to pursue Bengals receiver Mohamed Sanu, who's set to become a free agent March 9, a league source told The fifth-year receiver could be reunited in Cleveland with coach Hue Jackson, who spent all four of Sanu's years in Cincinnati with him, including the final two as offensive coordinator.

AFC North rookie grades: Newbies struggled to impact division
The Cleveland Browns got a boost from RB Duke Johnson in 2015. How about adding QB Jared Goff to the offense in 2016? Bucky Brooks grades AFC North rookie classes -- and previews the combine.

Random Bytes

2016 NFL Draft: Matt Miller's Pre-Combine Scouting Notebook
As the combine approaches, one of the hottest names in the class is Boise State edge-rusher Kamalei Correa. One scout I spoke to this week thinks Correa could propel himself into the top 25 picks of the draft, especially given a weak group at the "EDGE" position this year.

Heath Miller Was the Perfect Pittsburgh Steeler
In 11 NFL seasons, tight end Heath Miller never topped 1,000 receiving yards in a season. Miller never hit double digits in touchdown grabs. He didn't generate headlines like Rob Gronkowski. Didn't revolutionize his position like Tony Gonzalez. Odds are Miller won't be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. However, upon learning of Miller's retirement Friday, one thought struck me almost immediately.

Los Angeles Rams release James Laurinaitis, Chris Long, Jared Cook
The Rams are not only moving to Los Angeles, they're also moving on from three veteran mainstays in the process. The team announced the release of defensive end Chris Long, middle linebacker James Laurinaitis and tight end Jared Cook on Friday. In releasing the trio, the Rams will save about $24 million in salary-cap space. That could set them up to re-sign some of their own key free agents, like cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson, and safeties such as Rodney McLeod and Mark Barron.

Randy Gregory of Dallas Cowboys suspended by NFL for four games for violating substance-abuse policy
Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory has been suspended four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy, the NFL announced Friday. Gregory, 23, will miss the first four games of the 2016 season. The failed tests occurred during the 2015 season, not after, and an appeals process already has been completed.

Ravens TE Nick Boyle suspended 10 games for PEDs
We're seven months away from meaningful football, but Nick Boyle's 2016 season is already off to a rough start. The second-year Ravens tight end has been suspended 10 games without pay for violating the NFL Policy and Program for performance-enhancing substances, the team announced.

Dan Orlovsky Pokes Fun at Himself with Jared Allen Retirement Post
Dan Orlovsky is a good sport. On Friday, the Detroit Lions backup quarterback congratulated Jared Allen on his retirement announcement with a post mocking one of his greatest blunders as a player.