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Bengals Bytes (5/10): Best year yet

A bold prediction on why this year could be A.J. Green's best year yet. Carlos Dunlap earns two degrees, and Monday Night Football will have a new play-by-play announcer.

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Why 2016 Will Be Green's Best
2016 will be A.J. Green's most prolific season as a wide receiver. Find out why Derek Rackley is making such a bold prediction for the Bengals wideout.

Quarterback Matt Johnson impressing at Bengals camp
One of the more impressive players at this weekend’s Cincinnati Bengals rookie minicamp was quarterback Matt Johnson, an undrafted free agent from Bowling Green.

2016 NFL schedule: AFC’s best games to circle
The NFL schedule was released last month, but now that the draft is in the rear-view mirror, we can finally start focusing on the 256 regular-season games to come in 2016. With a mere 122 days remaining until the Panthers and Broncos kick off the season with a Week 1 rematch of their Super Bowl meeting, here’s our take on the toughest game that looms on every AFC team’s schedule this year.

Seventh-round pick signs with Bengals
The Bengals signed their seventh-round pick, safety Clayton Fejedelem, on Monday. Fejedelem led Illinois with 140 tackles last season, the most by any Illini player since 2007. He played his final two college seasons at Illinois after starting his college career playing for St. Xavier University in Chicago, an NAIA program.

Mike Nugent welcomes competition, Carlos Dunlap spreads knowledge
Currently, the Cincinnati Bengals have three placekickers on the roster: 12-year veteran and impending free agent Mike Nugent, third-year veteran Zach Hocker and free-agent rookie Jon Brown. Hocker was signed shortly after the season concluded after appearing in eight games for the New Orleans Saints and St. Louis Rams last year, and Brown was a tryout discovery.

Fisher eyes doing a 'Lap' around all five spots
Jake Fisher may be about to pull a "Lap." During long-time Bengals radio analyst Dave Lapham’s career on the Cincinnati offensive line, he played all five positions. A couple of times in the same game. Fisher, who looks to be this season’s back-up right tackle, may be headed that way as he takes some snaps at center in preparation for practices that begin later this month.

Carlos Dunlap was desperate for Bengals to draft a 'John Smith'
Carlos Dunlap, clad in his graduation cap and gown, started getting nervous when he heard former Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew perfectly pronounce Yannick Ngakoue's name while announcing Jacksonville's third-round pick. Dunlap knew that several minutes and 18 draft picks later, he would be on the same podium where Jones-Drew stood. Dunlap knew he would be speaking to the millions at home who were watching and waiting to see who the Cincinnati Bengals were taking with their third-round pick.

Cincinnati Bengals DE Carlos Dunlap earns two degrees
Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap was standing in the same locker room in front of the same locker he’s been using for more than six years, but he couldn’t help but feel like a new man. That’s because Thursday night he walked across a stage at the University of Miami to receive his master’s degree in business administration.

Cincinnati Bengals kicker takes strange path to NFL
The next field goal new Cincinnati Bengals kicker Jon Brown makes will be his first. At any level. The University of Louisville product, who signed a contract Sunday after a successful tryout during the weekend’s rookie minicamp, will be one of the more interesting stories during offseason workouts and, possibly, into training camp as the former member of the U.S. Soccer under-17 national team continues to reinvent himself.

Random Bytes

Ex-Patriot Easley still hasn't latched on anywhere
The release of Dominique Easley last month was a shock and it was followed quickly by predictions Easley wouldn’t be without a team for long. It’s been close to a month, though, and Easley still hasn’t latched on anywhere else. Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reported Easley did have recent a visit with the Bengals but the lack of serious interest even now, more than 10 days since the NFL Draft is surprising.

McLovin And Frank Isola Got Into A Great Twitter Fight About The Knicks And Pitch Perfect
Chris Mintz-Plasse of McLovin fame is a Celtics fan and a good Twitter user, and about a month ago, he laid down a Frank Isola burn in vague response to this Mike Lupica column.

Fox Sports Radio tweets and deletes shot at ESPN's Jessica Mendoza
Fox Sports Radio tweeted - and then deleted - a shot at Jessica Mendoza, ESPN's female "Sunday Night Baseball" analyst, saying if she was a man she would be fired. The comment was made by Mike North.

Major Upheaval Continues on ESPN NFL Coverage: Cris Carter, Ray Lewis Out; Randy Moss In
ESPN’s NFL coverage will look dramatically different next year. Our site already reported that Mike Ditka is out from his Countdown gig (though will remain with the network in an emeritus role), and that Matt Hasselbeck and Charles Woodson are on their way in.

Sean McDonough Joins ESPN’s Monday Night Football
Sean McDonough, one of sports television’s most versatile broadcasters, will be the new play-by-play voice for ESPN’s Monday Night Football. He will work alongside analyst Jon Gruden and reporter Lisa Salters when the 2016 NFL season kicks off this fall.

Predicting the best rookie for all 32 NFL teams
NFL Nation reporters choose the rookie who will make the biggest immediate impact for every team. Dallas' Ezekiel Elliott makes the list, alongside a few surprises like Pittsburgh's Sean Davis.

Lions acquire LB Jon Bostic in trade with Patriots
Just when you thought the salad days of Jon Bostic trade intrigue were over. The Patriots traded Bostic to the Detroit Lions, both teams announced Monday. A source with knowledge of the trade told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport the Patriots will receive a conditional seventh-round pick in 2017 for Bostic. The move comes less than eight months after the Pats acquired Bostic from the Bears for a late-round pick.