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Bengals Bytes (4/9): Landing the Jet

The Bengals are looking to maximize their value with free agents this offseason, one of the greatest Jets' players calls it quits, and several young players receive suspensions.

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Shawn Williams will get chance to add to Cincinnati Bengals highlights
Lost in all the he said, he said, back and forth that has come after the bizarre finish to the Cincinnati Bengals playoff loss against Pittsburgh has been this: there were two other games between the teams last season. Bengals fans hate remembering the latter of those two. It was in a December meeting when quarterback Andy Dalton's season ended after he broke his thumb going for a post-interception tackle. The Bengals ultimately lost that game, 33-20.

Bengals' Kirkpatrick: I didn't stop I-75 wrong-way driver from drinking
Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick took to Twitter Friday to mourn the loss of friend Kory Wilson, one of three people killed in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 75 in Evendale early Friday. Police received a 911 call about an SUV driving the wrong way on I-75 about 3:30 a.m. Friday. A Chevrolet Suburban driven by the 30-year-old Wilson of Springfield Township was traveling northbound in the southbound lanes. Wilson was also known locally by his rapper stage name, "Kalyko."

Bengals look to 'max out' 2016 salary cap
On the surface, Karlos Dansby and Brandon LaFell don’t seem like "over the top" free agent signings. They have their flaws as players, and their combined deals account for nearly $4.5 million against the 2016 salary cap. Malik Jackson, he of the $90 million deal in Jacksonville, they’re not. But for the Cincinnati Bengals, when the two veterans and their one-year deals are placed within the context of the team’s actions in free agency, one thing is clear: Owner Mike Brown has pushed his chips into the middle of the table for an extended playoff run in 2016.

Marvin Lewis, Bengals agree to extension
Another offseason, another one-year contract extension for Marvin Lewis. NFL Media's Michael Silver reported Friday that the Bengals coach, whose contract was set to expire at the end of next season, has agreed to a deal through 2017, per a team source. The contract will replace Lewis' existing agreement, keeping the NFL's second-longest-tenured coach in place with the franchise he joined back in 2003.

Hobson's Choice: tough calls
The last gasps of free agency and the early signs of the draft emerge in Bengaldom.

Random Bytes

Teammate thought Calvin Johnson retirement talk was a joke
Calvin Johnson told at least one Lions teammate last season that he was planning to retire, but that teammate didn’t believe it. Lions receiver Corey Fuller says Johnson talked to him early in the 2015 season about retiring, which Johnson officially did after the season ended. But Fuller didn’t believe Johnson was serious about it.

Odell’s cousin Terron Beckham has an impressive pro day workout
He may still be a long shot to make the NFL, but Terron Beckham will absolutely have the NFL’s attention after an impressive pro day workout. Of course, it wasn’t the usual pro day, since he didn’t play college football and isn’t eligible for the draft, but the display he put on at a New Jersey testing facility caught plenty of eyes and could lead to some free agent interest.

Brandon Marshall found not liable for assault in civil suit
Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall spent this week in a New York City courtroom for a civil trial related to a 2012 altercation outside a nightclub. Marshall was being sued by a woman who alleged that the wideout hit her in the face and was seeking at least $75,000 in damages.

Best NFL offseason free agency 2016 moves, signings, trades
NFL free agency is just ending its first month, but it's fun to study how well offseason planning came together for all 32 teams. The best general managers and coaches know Super Bowl contenders can't be built solely through free agency. Big spenders usually end up the most disappointed.

D'Brickashaw Ferguson choosing to retire at age 32
New York Jets left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson, a former Pro Bowl player known for his remarkable durability, decided to retire Friday at age 32, league sources told Ferguson, the fourth overall pick in 2006, has no known injury issues. Not only did he play every game in 10 seasons -- 167 consecutive starts, including playoffs -- but he also never missed a practice and never appeared on an injury report.

Jalen Collins Suspended 4 Games
Atlanta Falcons cornerback Jalen Collins has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2016 regular season after violating the NFL's performance-enhancing-substance policy, the team announced Friday.