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Bengals Bytes (4/16): Fair warning

Expect the matchup between the Bengals and Steelers to still be chippy even without Vontaze Burfict. The Broncos defense has a warning for Brock Osweiler, and Jerry Jones gives his thoughts on the Rams moving up to the first pick.

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Cincinnati DB Leviticus Payne readying for Bengals, Lions’ local prospect days
Payne works out for the Cincinnati Bengals and Detroit Lions next week at their respective local prospect days. “It’s appreciated and it’s a blessing and honor to get the opportunity to perform in front of those coaches,” Payne said. “It’s almost like a dream come true, but a dream I haven’t reached yet. I’m still working toward it. I’m very thankful for the opportunity to work out for them. I plan on doing my best and hopefully helping myself out with the whole draft process. It can be stressful, but hopefully this eases it a little more.”

When Bengals, Steelers meet in 2016, penalty yards might soar again
One of the most intriguing aspects of Thursday night's NFL schedule release was seeing where schedule-makers placed 2016's first meeting between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals. For Bengals fans, there was hope that they would have scheduled the game for Week 4. That weekend will, after all, be the first back for linebacker Vontaze Burfict. He was suspended earlier this offseason for the first three games. We now know that means he'll miss the first meeting. Bengals-Steelers I was scheduled for Week 2.

How the Bengals get ready for the season
The thin stainless steel needles in the base of the skull wiggled, rising slightly with a roll of skin as Kevin Zeitler lifted his face out of the padded cradle. Forehead and cheeks flush, he squinted. “It’s crazy when you’re 300-plus pounds and you’re running around all the time, what it does to your body.”

List of prospects for 'Local Day'
NFL teams are permitted to hold a workout for prospects eligible for the April 28-30 draft who played their high school and/or college careers in the team’s metro area and the Bengals hold their session Tuesday morning at Paul Brown Stadium. Here is a tentative list of players scheduled to participate in what is known as “Local Day,” followed by each player’s college, and by his high school (in parentheses) if local

Taylor-made return
A few questions were answered Friday when Taylor Mays re-signed with the Bengals after a year hiatus. “When you have a guy like that who can play safety and nickel linebacker and can do a lot of different things and help Darrin (Simmons) on special teams, he’s a good guy to have,” said defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. “He’s a value.” So that’s why the team did it. And this is why Mays, who agreed to the deal last month, came back to the team for which he played 50 games from 2011-14.

Random Bytes

NFL legend Peyton Manning to appear on FOX NASCAR broadcast at Bristol
NFL legend Peyton Manning will make an appearance in the FOX NASCAR broadcast booth on Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Broncos linebacker has warning for Brock Osweiler after seeing schedule
Brock Osweiler is going to get reacquainted with his former Denver Broncos teammates when the Houston Texans travel to Mile High on Oct. 24. And it looks like some of the Broncos want to get physical with their former quarterback.

The NFL must address gun awareness and conflict resolution among its young players
The league's player development process cannot afford to overlook the Will Smith tragedy. They will file past his casket one by one on Friday near New Orleans. For many, this up-close look at Will Smith will be their first and last one.

Johnny Manziel accused of trashing pad with ‘booze- and drug-filled’ ragers
Call it a case of affluenza. Rich-kid quarterback Johnny Manziel’s facing more questions about alcohol and drug use after he threw a wild party at a rented LA house, where he and his friends allegedly caused $32,000 in damage.

Pittsburgh Steelers cut Cortez Allen
The Pittsburgh Steelers released cornerback Cortez Allen after five seasons, the team announced Friday. Allen, a fourth-round pick in 2011, finished his career in Pittsburgh with 150 tackles, 34 passes defended and six interceptions. He missed 15 games with a knee injury last year and was benched in 2014 after struggling with injuries and poor play.

Jerry Jones on how Titans-Rams trade affects the Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones knows bold. What the Los Angeles Rams did Thursday in their trade to acquire the No. 1 overall pick from the Tennessee Titans was bold.

NY Giants Initially Use 'Washington' Instead of 'Redskins' on Team Schedule
The New York Giants appeared to make a subtle statement when the NFL released its schedule Thursday. Take a look at the initial tweet Big Blue sent out. Pay special attention to the opponents.