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Bengals bytes (3/15): Log jam

The Bengals are looking to re-sign one of their own, but have they done enough to maintain their defensive dominance already? Colin Kaepernick seems to be holding up the quarterback market.

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NFLPA president Eric Winston seeking second term after re-signing with Bengals
A new contract with the Cincinnati Bengals in hand, veteran tackle Eric Winston will run for a second term as NFL Players Association president when union leadership convenes this week.

Bengals try to close deal for Sims
The Bengals are trying to close a contract for backup nose tackle Pat Sims, a deal that has been simmering for weeks since agent John Thornton lives in the Indian Hill neighborhood of Bengals negotiators Katie and Troy Blackburn. Thornton said he could do the deal at the mailbox and why not? The Bengals like Sims’ mail-carrier reliability stopping the run. With free agent Brandon Thompson rehabbing from ACL surgery, the 6-2 340-pound Sims would give them a solid run-stuffer behind Domata Peko at the start of the season.

Hobson's Choice: catchy tune
At some point the Bengals are going to look at veteran free-agent wide receivers, but not UFAs and not 30ish guys. So that takes out Boldin, Johnson, Wallace, White, and Jones. I mean, when they played the Texans two years ago it looked like Johnson was done so they’re not looking for that or a one-year band aid. We know they’ll most likely draft two receivers, so they’d like to get a vet that at least has some juice left.

Brandon Thompson expected to visit Seahawks Monday
After nine years with the Seahawks, defensive tackle Brandon Mebane has signed with the Chargers as a free agent and the Seahawks have been talking with potential additions to the group in recent days.

Former Raiders, 49ers safety Taylor Mays hit with suspension
Former Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers safety Taylor Mays has been hit with a four-game suspension, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. The suspension is for violations of the league’s policy on substances of abuse, per the NFL Network.

Re-signings by Cincinnati Bengals keeps defense among NFL's best
Turmoil appeared to be on the horizon. Following the Cincinnati Bengals' fifth-straight wild-card round playoff loss, many around here tried to brace for the slew of changes that were expected to hit the roster. With 14 unrestricted free agents, many of them starters or regular contributors, sweeping roster modifications were anticipated. The potential for a 2016 drop-off started becoming reality.

Random Bytes

Report: Eric Weddle will sign with the Ravens
When it comes to free agents, the Ravens like them old and still productive. Days after adding 35-year-old tight end Benjamin Watson, the Ravens reportedly will be signing former Chargers safety Eric Weddle. Reports Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Weddle will be a Raven.

March Madness TV guide: Announcers, studio info for tourney
Here’s something no one could have imagined 25 years ago: TBS will broadcast the NCAA men’s basketball title game from Houston on April 4 shortly after 9 p.m. ET, the first time the title game has been televised on cable in the 78-year history of the event.

How Martavis Bryant's suspension affects Sammie Coates, Le'Veon Bell
Martavis Bryant's year-long suspension will be felt in the Pittsburgh Steelers' offensive meeting rooms. Mostly, though, his absence presents opportunities for many players. Sammie Coates and Le'Veon Bell will see more opportunities in the Steelers' offense thanks to Martavis Bryant's suspension.

The Worst Moves of NFL's 1st Free-Agency Week
Now that the weekend has come to an end, we can officially close the door on the opening phase of the 2016 NFL free-agency period. Though the market opened at 4 p.m. ET on March 9, teams were able to begin contacting player agents two days prior...

Top NFL official acknowledges link between football-related head trauma and CTE for first time
The NFL, for the first time, acknowledged there is a link between football-related head trauma and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.

In long QB con game, Fitzpatrick won't get more and Kaepernick can't lose
Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn't have to be in a hurry. He isn't missing anything by delaying a decision on signing a new contract for a few more weeks. Heck, he really wouldn't miss much by extending this waiting game up to the draft if he really wanted to. But the reality is, as the days go on, nothing is really going to change for the journeyman quarterback

Osweiler says Peyton taught him to be a pro
There’s been some talk since Brock Osweiler signed with the Texans that he has hard feelings toward the Broncos for benching him in favor of Peyton Manning for the team’s postseason run. But Osweiler says he has nothing but warm feelings for Manning himself.

NFL, NFLPA move toward deal that would strip Roger Goodell of disciplinary power
The NFL and NFL Players Association are making progress toward a deal that would strip commissioner Roger Goodell of disciplinary power when it comes to off-the-field infractions by players, union executive director DeMaurice Smith told The Wall Street Journal.

B.J. Raji to Sit Out 2016 Season
Green Bay Packers defensive tackle B.J. Raji has stepped away from football, at least temporarily, after seven seasons in the NFL. Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports and Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette first reported the news. Raji missed all of 2014 but played for six other years in Green Bay, which selected him No. 9 overall in the 2009 NFL draft. The 29-year-old has posted 151 combined tackles and 11 sacks in his career.