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Bengals Bytes (4/2): Behind the numbers

Is it time the Bengals and Reggie Nelson finally find some common ground and get a deal done? Also Brandon LaFell is motivated to prove he can still contribute to an NFL team, and take a look at how the Browns are using their analytics to craft their team.

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals And Reggie Nelson Should Swallow Pride And Reunite
Most anticipated from the outset of free agency that the Cincinnati Bengals wouldn’t be able to keep their 2015 safety tandem of George Iloka and Reggie Nelson in tact. They were two of the better players at their respective positions throughout the ’15 season and, as such, it’d be tough to retain both without breaking the bank.

Bengals have no reason to look at quarterbacks
Andy Dalton’s broken thumb may have put an end to his MVP-caliber year and ultimately derailed what was shaping up to a special, breakthrough season for the Bengals, but the silver lining was that it answered the questions about whether backup AJ McCarron can win at this level.

Mocking on the door
The glowing embers of free agency light up the second Media Mock Draft board of the spring. The Mock is still murky, shadowy, and just out of depth. But the signings of the last three weeks have shifted the swamp enough that the Bengals are in a different spot than our shot on March 4. You know the gig. Our panelists of local and national NFL beat reporters from newspapers and websites give us their teams’ picks and get us to the Bengals’ slot at No. 24 in the first round. From there, we see who is the best from the rest:

Top 20 Games of 2015: No. 7 -- Steelers at Bengals
In one of the most bizarre finishes in recent playoff memory, the Bengals bungled a lead, with the ball, in field goal range to allow the Steelers to come from behind and win in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Bengals Brandon LaFell out to prove 2015 was an aberration
One year after posting the best numbers of his career, Brandon LaFell put together some of his worst in a 2015 season that was as individually challenging as any he had been through. Foot surgery late last offseason had the receiver hobbled entering his second season with the New England Patriots. And although the foot had gotten just healthy enough for him to play, he still had a tough time getting back to doing everything that made him the standout he was in the Patriots' 2014 passing offense, the season they last won the Super Bowl.

Cincinnati Bengals back to work April 18 when offseason program begins
The Cincinnati Bengals' offseason program kicks off April 18, as players begin a series of voluntary workouts and practices at Paul Brown Stadium. The NFL on Friday announced that date as well as a series of dates for the Bengals' organized team activities and mandatory minicamp. According to the league, the Bengals will hold OTA practices May 24-26, June 1-2 and June 6-9. The team also will hold its annual mandatory minicamp June 14-16 before breaking for the rest of the summer.

Random Bytes

Browns' Front Office Provides Some Insight Into Their Analytics and Strategy
The Cleveland Browns' new front office has gone back-and-forth when it comes to how much information they are willing to reveal about their unique analytical and strategic approach to running an NFL franchise. They've been fairly quiet during regular Browns functions -- such as press conferences or TV interviews -- but more open when interviewed by various publications such as Baseball America.

Percy Harvin is reportedly playing in 2016, and here's where he could land
Percy Harvin has played for four different teams in the past four years. He has washed out with the Vikings, Seahawks and Jets. By the middle of his stint with the Bills, there was talk of personal issues there as well. There were even reports by late October that his injury issues could force him into retirement.

Pass/Fail Grades for All 32 Teams' Free-Agency Performance so Far
With NFL free agency winding down to the point where we are seeing one-year deals for talented, yet inconsistent players, this is a good time to start giving some pass or fail grades to all 32 NFL teams.

Eagles cut an offensive lineman
The Philadelphia Eagles waived offensive lineman Tanner Hawkinson, according to an official announcement from the team.

New NFL head coaches' plans for their quarterbacks 2016
For Chip Kelly, the painful waiting game is almost over. The 49ers kept Colin Kaepernick on the roster on Thursday, guaranteeing his $11.9 million and giving Kelly the quarterback he's excited to coach. "Waiting is the hardest part," Kelly said last week at the owners meetings. The waiting game is almost over, too, for the seven men who were named new head coaches this offseason, all of whom are offensive minded. Starting Monday, Kelly and the other six new coaches can begin teaching and preparing their quarterbacks for the new season. They have the opportunity to get a two-week jump on the rest of the league.

Facebook Reportedly Backs out of Deal to Stream NFL Thursday Night Games
If the NFL is going to stream Thursday night games in 2016, it will not be doing so with the use of social-media giant Facebook. According to Bloomberg, Facebook backed out of a potential deal with the NFL after the two sides did not agree on the NFL's advertising model for live games

The Squeeze: Von on 'Questionable'
Happy Friday, #BroncosCountry! The Broncos announced their offseason program on Thursday, meaning the "off" portion of Denver's offseason is coming to an end. A look at what's out there, as the Super Bowl champs continue to enjoy their break.