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Bengals Bytes (4/6): All about value

The Bengals have gotten big bargains compared to the NFL's big free agent signings. Greg Hardy is still awful, and there's a new way of watching Thursday Night Football.

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4 things Bengals free agency taught us
The Cincinnati Bengals are less than two weeks away from the start of voluntary workouts at Paul Brown Stadium, and less than a month away from the NFL Draft. The roster isn’t complete, but it’s getting close.

Lions’ Marvin Jones financing his sister’s training for the Olympics | ProFootballTalk
Vanessa Jones is a good enough 400-meter runner that she has a shot at making the U.S. Olympic team, but unfortunately for Jones, training with the best private track coaches is expensive, and track doesn't pay well unless you're already an Olympian.

Cincinnati Bengals: 5 Recent Draft Busts
I jumped on the Men In Stripes podcast with Matt Wilson a few weeks ago and mentioned how wrong I have been about some of the Cincinnati Bengals draft picks in the past. The big busts are always talked about: Ki-jana Carter, Akili Smith, etc.  The Cincinnati Bengals have had some picks that weren’t as highly profiled but I thought were going to be GREAT! I was wrong. I was very, very wrong. After that podcast, it got me thinking about those players. I decided to take a look back at the top 5 "Matt Pedroza" Bengal draft busts.

Cincinnati Bengals Draft Spotlight: Corey Coleman vs. Josh Doctson
After losing Marvin Jones and Muhamed Sanu to free agency, the Cincinnati Bengals signed former Patriots’ wide receiver Brandon LaFell. Even with the signing of LaFell, the Bengals still have a need at WR.  The Bengals will have to look toward this year’s draft to upgrade the receiver position.

Best of the best?
Two years after drafting Oregon quarterback Akili Smith at No. 3, resulted in a benching at the end of the 2000 season, an undersized quarterback viewed as a project didn’t excite anyone in Bengaldom. There was a persuasive argument for a defense that hadn’t finished better than No. 22 in the six previous seasons while averaging an anemic 26 sacks in the last five.

Bengals' nine free agents cost less than Texans gave Brock Osweiler
From a player's standpoint, Malik Jackson, Olivier Vernon and Brock Osweiler were free agency's biggest winners. Within the next five seasons, all three will be getting paid upwards of $72 million. Jackson tops the list at $85.5 million between now and the end of the 2020 season. Vernon will get $85 million in that same stretch. By the end of the 2019 season, Osweiler will receive $72 million from the Houston Texans, making him this free-agency period's big splash quarterback signing. That's a lot of money for one player. Guess how much the Cincinnati Bengals spent on nine?

Random Bytes

New grand jury to hear misdemeanor assault case against Johnny Manziel in Dallas
A grand jury in Dallas ended its term last week without hearing the misdemeanor assault case against free-agent quarterback Johnny Manziel, the Dallas County District Attorney's Office told KTVT.

Villanova – North Carolina Classic Was the Lowest-Rated National Championship Game Ever
If you’re wondering why CBS put the National Championship game on TBS Monday night, it’s because without Turner, CBS would have lost the NCAA Tournament to ESPN in 2011. But with a partner came concessions – like putting the Final 4 on cable, and wedging Turner guys like Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith into prominent roles while CBS analysts took a backseat.

Villanova family celebrates magical ride to NCAA title, perfect ending
Bewildered and buried in confetti, Ryan Arcidiacono looked every which way for one particular person. "Where’s Coach?" he asked, to no one and everyone at the same time. Someone pointed over Arcidiacono’s right shoulder, at the man in the navy pinstriped suit. The two locked eyes.

Jon Gruden's ESPN QB Camp a can't-miss stop for NFL draft's best | The MMQB with Peter King
A top agent says there are three can’t-miss events for the draft’s best QBs: the combine, pro days and Jon Gruden’s QB Camp. The MMQB goes behind the scenes as the ex-coach-turned-analyst puts Carson Wentz through the made-for-TV ringer both in the classroom and on the field.

Greg Hardy’s interview on ESPN does nothing to help his reputation
With a disturbing cocktail of hubris, stupidity and sheer desperation, free agent Greg Hardy somehow managed to lower his already atrocious reputation in an exclusive interview with ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

NFL free agency: Breaking down the best and worst signings
We're nearly one month into the NFL's 2016 free-agent market, a nice round number that demands the ceremonial tying of a bow. Most everything that will happen has already happened -- I think I read that on BrainyQuotes somewhere -- and now is a perfect time to take stock before the football world turns its full attention to the draft.

Twitter wins digital streaming rights for NFL Thursday night games
Twitter won the bidding for the digital streaming rights to the NFL's Thursday night games, commissioner Roger Goodell announced Tuesday morning -- on Twitter, of course. The league offered the package to a host of companies, including Facebook, Amazon and Verizon, which is in the last year of a sponsorship deal with the NFL that pays the league $250 million a year. Terms of the deal with Twitter were not disclosed.