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Bengals Bytes (3/26): NFL silly season

Are the Bengals in the perfect spot to draft a wide receiver in round one? Look out for the NFL's silly season where you can't trust everything you hear. What should Andrew Luck be worth?

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Katie Blackburn: The NFL’s Most Powerful Woman Nobody Talks About | The MMQB with Peter King
You could call her the most powerful woman in the NFL whom nobody talks about, and she prefers it that way. Bengals executive vice president Katie Blackburn, the first woman to be a chief contract negotiator in the NFL, has been part of the front office in Cincinnati since 1991. It’s not unusual for children of NFL owners to be involved in the family business—she’s Mike Brown’s daughter—but in following her father’s path into football, Blackburn paved a new path for women.

Bengals' history with Ohio State runs deep, especially during draft
If there was ever a Mount Rushmore of famous Ohioans constructed, Paul Brown certainly would have to be on it. The Cincinnati Bengals, the team Brown helped found in 1968, have their stadium named for him just like the Ohio high school he attended and where his coaching career took off, Massillon. The Cleveland Browns have his name. And at Ohio State, where he won a national championship in 1942, he is enshrined as a Hall of Famer.

Are Bengals in first-round WR sweet spot?
The lone pressing question surrounding the Bengals' offseason should be answered during the final weekend of April in the NFL Draft. Who will replace Marvin Jones as the No. 2 wide receiver? Marvin Lewis and company did an effective job retaining their key pieces in free agency, but Jones slipping away for more opportunity in Detroit leaves a gaping hole opposite A.J. Green on the roster. To think any free agent still remaining could adequately fill it alone would be optimistic.

Laquon Treadwell drawing interest from Browns, Bengals, Cowboys, more
On Monday, Mississippi receiver Laquon Treadwell will be running as fast as he can at a Pro Day workout. Thereafter, he’ll be traveling around the country in much faster vehicles in advance of the draft.

Mike Brown on possible Marvin Lewis extension: He’s our coach this year
The Bengals and coach Marvin Lewis have agreed on several contract extensions since Lewis was initially hired in 2003, which leaves him entering his 14th season on the Cincinnati sideline this year. Lewis doesn’t have a contract beyond this year, though, and there doesn’t seem to be much urgency on the part of the team to make sure that changes before the start of the season.

Random Bytes

There Are Actual Cubs At Cubs Camp
Joe Maddon likes to make spring training fun. On Tuesday it was mimes. Today it’s baby bears.

Rams WR Stedman Bailey still considering NFL return |
Los Angeles Rams receiver Stedman Bailey is still evaluating a return to the NFL, Rams coach Jeff Fisher said at league meetings in Florida. Bailey was shot in the head twice during a drive-by shooting late last year. The receiver attended a team meeting in California earlier this month, but it is still uncertain—if not unlikely—he can participate in the Rams’ off-season program or spring practices.

Scouting Notebook: Silly Season, the Rise of Michael Thomas & Latest Mock Draft
It’s silly season, which means you should be careful believing the NFL draft rumors and anonymous scout quotes you read and hear. That may seem hypocritical given that you’re about to read an entire section of these quotes, but only trusted sources have been used in this article. If a quote is used about a quarterback, that source is either a high-level decision-maker privy to every scouting report and interview the team has conducted or an area scout who was assigned to that player’s area.

Andrew Luck Will Get Elite QB Money, but Is Luck an Elite QB?
Go ahead and let the words "elite" and "quarterback" roll around for a second. Feel the white noise wash over you as an image of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck dances around, too. Where does he fall on the eliteness scale? It’s a question worth pondering for a long, long time, even if the term itself has beaten you over the head repeatedly. Because elite or not, Luck will have an elite bank account soon.

How NFL coaches will take advantage of new kickoff rule
The NFL's new rule that will bring the ball out to the 25-yard line on touchbacks might not seem like a major change. Five yards, right? But that slight bump in free field position for the offense -- which the league says was in response to an increased number of injuries on kickoff returns -- will have a major impact on kicking strategy and personnel.

Oakland Raiders paying much more to stay put in Coliseum
The authority that operates Coliseum has approved a new lease extension for the Oakland Raiders that more than triples the team's rent to use the stadium and its training facility in nearby Alameda. The Oakland Tribune reported Friday that the team will now shell out $3.5 million in rent, up from the $925,000 it paid last season.