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Bengals Bytes (3/22): Cincy curse

There is only one explanation after Cincinnati's disappointing exit from the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament, and the Bengals embarrassing loss in the playoffs. Cincinnati is cursed (probably). The NFL looks to make an overdo Rooney Rule for women, plus, more NFL news.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Hit on Gio sparks change in call
Call it "The Giovani Interpretation." One of the most controversial plays in a Wild Card Game fraught with controversy during the Bengals’ loss to the Steelers back in January would be reversed, according to league officials here Monday at the NFL owners’ meetings. Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier would now be flagged 15 yards for a crown-of-the-helmet hit on Bengals running back Giovani Bernard.

Cincinnati Bengals spend more than $18 million in March on defense
With more than $18 million paid to free agents this month, the Cincinnati Bengals are on track to keep their defense among the NFL's highest paid. Since 2012, they have had one of the eight highest-paid defenses in the league. They have doled out an average $67.1 million to that side of the ball the past four seasons, according to numbers from ESPN Stats & Information. Large contracts like the ones the Bengals have signed players to in recent years run completely counter to the long-existing narrative that the team is cheap and doesn't like to pay.

Cincinnati sadness: Bengals kicked off rough 2016 postseasons for city
It has already been a rough year for the Cincinnati sports scene. This past weekend, barely two months after the Cincinnati Bengals' epic late collapse in the wild-card round of the NFL playoffs, the city's top college basketball programs watched as some last-second drama ended their respective NCAA tournament runs.

Bengals not interested in moving McCarron
In the annual meeting of NFL owners, personnel executives, coaches and agents, all matter of topics are up for discussion. Some free agents made the trip to the Boca Raton Resort and Club to meet with teams, and it seemed only natural that other roster discussion could take place – including whether or not Cincinnati Bengals backup quarterback AJ McCarron would be on the trade block.

Random Bytes

NFL looks at Rooney Rule for women in league
The Rooney Rule that has helped diversify front office and coaching jobs in the NFL has been such a success that the league has expanded it to include interviewing women for all executive positions at the league office.

Browns not counting Josh Gordon in 2016 and NFL can rule on reinstatement 'when appropriate'
The NFL is now clarifying that it can rule on Josh Gordon's reinstatement "when appropriate,'' and the Browns aren't counting on him for 2016. First, he has to be reinstated, which is no sure thing. Then, they have to see where his head is at.

MLB media roundtable: Challenges of reporting, tough interviews and more
With the start of the 2016 MLB regular season coming on April 3, Richard Deitsch paneled seven respected MLB writers and reporters for a roundtable discussion on a number of MLB-related topics.

Chiefs appeal ruling that they tampered with Jeremy Maclin
The Chiefs have officially decided to appeal the league’s tampering ruling, Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt told The Star on Monday at the NFL’s annual league meeting. "As we indicated in the statement, we intended to file and we have filed that appeal at this point," Hunt said.

Dino Costa's website is plagiarizing everyone in sports, including us
Last week we published an exclusive report about Dan Patrick possibly returning to anchor an episode of SportsCenter as part of a larger idea to bring back past ESPN personalities. So you can imagine my surprise when a link came into my inbox this morning to the website of eccentric sports talk radio host Dino Costa that didn’t just swipe part of that report, but copied it word for word without attribution.

Jets, Giants want another New York/New Jersey Super Bowl
The Jets and Giants are eager to host another Super Bowl. Jets owner Woody Johnson said today at the league meeting that the two New York teams want to bring the game back to MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, which allows for media events in the media capital of the world.

5 reasons Browns need to sign Robert Griffin III
Robert Griffin III needs a team, and the Cleveland Browns could use a more reliable, long-term quarterback situation. Are Robert Griffin III and the New York Jets a perfect match? Last week, the Robert Griffin III visited the New York Jets and the Cleveland Browns.

TV Trailer Hitches to Golden State’s Star
After years of bad teams and sagging ratings, the cable network that broadcasts Warriors games from a cramped control room at Oracle Arena is riding high.

NFL trying to explain that catch rules aren’t confusing at all
The NFL has tried fixing the confusion over what is and is not a catch by legislating new rules. Now, it seems their goal is to simply explain things better and hope for the best. League vice president of officiating Dean Blandino spent much of his time during his press conference at the owners meetings talking about the process of determining whether a thrown thing has been caught.