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Bengals Bytes (3/16): Wheeling and dealing

George Iloka says he wants to be part of the group that gets the Bengals over their playoff hump; Adam Jones and the Bengals make it official, meanwhile the Patriots and Cardinals orchestrated a pretty big trade.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

NFL’s Devon Still to headline hospital gala
NFL player Devon Still and his 5-year-old daughter, Leah, whose story captured the hearts of millions of people nationwide, is the keynote speaker for this year’s Milagro Gala, the El Paso Children’s Hospital Foundation’s annual fundraiser.

Cincinnati Bengals ready to end playoff woes? George Iloka thinks so
It should have happened by now. Three seasons ago, the Cincinnati Bengals had the team and the favorable first-round matchup to finally end the woeful string of playoff losses that have defined their franchise in recent seasons. But an untimely turnover, a dropped pass and some questionable offensive strategy contributed to yet another postseason "L."

Age appears to be working against Reggie Nelson
The best defensive player still available on our Free Agent Hot 100 is safety Reggie Nelson, who started all 16 games for the Bengals last season and had eight interceptions. But the numbers 16 and 8 aren’t the most relevant numbers when assessing Nelson.

Bengals Re-Sign CB Adam Jones, 2015 Pro Bowler
The Bengals today re-signed CB Adam Jones, returning him to the team from the unrestricted free agent ranks. Jones (5-10, 180; West Virginia) is a 10th-year NFL player in 2016, entering his sixth year with the Bengals. He capped his 2015 season with a Pro Bowl berth after helping lead the team to a 12-4 record and its fifth straight playoff berth. He played and started 14 games, plus the Wild Card playoff.

Random Bytes

New England Patriots safety Nate Ebner taking leave to train for Olympic rugby
New England Patriots safety Nate Ebner is taking a leave of absence from the Patriots starting Tuesday to begin his Olympic training for the U.S. rugby team and this summer's Olympics. Ebner was given permission from the Patriots to leave to begin training at the U.S. Olympic training facility in California. Ebner is scheduled to rejoin the Patriots after the Aug. 6-11 Olympic rugby competition.

NFL free agency 2016 - Replacements for top departing free agents
Less than a week into NFL free agency, more than one-third of unrestricted free agents are off the market. The pace of signings allowed a few teams to fill their voids quickly. Replacing the top free agents, however, won't be easy. Some teams will have to wait until the draft. Others might have to make trades or hope the price of lower-tier free agents drop.

Proactive Patriots trade Chandler Jones with future in mind
Branch Rickey is credited with the old adage that it's better to trade a player a year too early than a year too late. It's a mantra the Patriots have stood by under Bill Belichick. Stalwarts like Logan Mankins, Randy Moss and Richard Seymour all have been traded while still contributing, often for draft picks and/or younger players, and often accompanied with some groans from New England fans.

Denver Broncos match offer sheet to running back CJ Anderson
The Denver Broncos on Tuesday matched the offer sheet that running back C.J. Anderson signed from the Miami Dolphins last week. Anderson said in an interview with ESPN's NFL Live that he was "surprised" the Broncos decided to match the offer sheet and that the Chicago Bears had actually offered him a larger contract.

Can Mike Wallace Resurrect His Career with the Baltimore Ravens?
After two failed stints with the Miami Dolphins and the Minnesota Vikings, wide receiver Mike Wallace might have finally landed in the right place to take advantage of his skills—or skill in this particular case.  Simply put: Wallace has speed to burn.

Chris Long to Patriots
After being a free agent for the first time in his career, defensive end Chris Long has found a new home with the New England Patriots. According to Trey Wingo of ESPN, Long agreed to terms Tuesday with the Patriots on a one-year contract. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport confirmed the report.