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Bengals Bytes (5/2): Back to normal

The most common phrase in football is 'next man up,' so who is stepping up in the absence of Tyler Eifert? Analysis of Shawn Williams' new contract is available, plus, examining offseason regrets and the top players for 2016.

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Shawn Williams Contract Analytics

Shawn Williams signed a four-year extension with the Bengals reportedly worth a stated value of $20,870,000, of which $20.185 million is considered "new money" and $4 million is guaranteed at the time of signing. The Expected Contract Value of the deal is $16,082,691 (77% of the stated value).

Bengals Beat Podcast: OTAs Week 2

Enquirer Bengals beat writers Paul Dehner Jr. and Jim Owczarski sit down after the second OTA practice open to the media this offseason. We jump into four primary topics. We discuss the Tyler Eifert injury, fallout and everyone's quick trigger to blame the medical staff. The topic of Dwight Freeney and the changing value of veteran players in the softer NFL. We dive deeper into the long conversation Jim had with Andrew Whitworth about his future in the league. Finally, we talk briefly about Vontaze Burfict before answering a few of your Twitter questions.

AJ McCarron calls on line from 'World War Z' to help wife deliver baby

Well into the process of childbirth, Katherine McCarron was, as one would expect, in pain. So what did her husband, Cincinnati Bengals backup quarterback and former Alabama Crimson Tide superstar AJ McCarron, decide to do? He yelled at her -- sarcastically, mind you -- offering the former Miss Alabama and Sports Illustrated model a well-timed inside joke that got her laughing, and ultimately turning her temporary anguish into lifelong joy.

Andy Dalton: More popular than Ben Roethlisberger and Carson Palmer?

When I got my first glimpse last week of the then still-to-be-published ESPN World Fame 100, I have to admit that I rubbed my eyes and then did a quick double-take. Not only was Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton listed ahead of famed nemesis Ben Roethlisberger, but he also was ahead of his immediate predecessor, Carson Palmer. True, all three quarterbacks hovered near the very bottom of the list of the 100 most famous athletes in the world, but Dalton was still at the top of this specific triumvirate.

Next Tyler up

Now that Pro Bowl tight end Tyler Eifert’s ankle is in a cast, all eyes are cast on the next Tyler up in Rutgers’ Tyler Kroft, the tight end the Bengals targeted in the 2015 draft every bit as much as first-rounder Cedric Ogbuehi. The best pair of eyes when it comes to Kroft probably belongs to Bengals backup quarterback AJ McCarron, who was pressed into service after the Doomsday Drive against Pittsburgh back on Dec. 13. Just before quarterback Andy Dalton broke his thumb, Steelers safety Mike Mitchell sent Eifert to LA LA Land a few months before the Rams moved there with a concussion that took him out of the next two weeks.

Quick hits: Whit supports return to old Pro Bowl; Report says Falcons pass on Freeney

Word that the NFL is leaning to switching the Pro Bowl back to the AFC-NFC format when it is played in Orlando, Fla., this season got the thumbs up from a Bengal who has played in both.  Left tackle Andrew Whitworth, who played this past season in the NFL all-star game where the rosters were mixed, also played in the last AFC-NFC game after the 2012 season.

Atlanta Falcons not signing Dwight Freeney at this time

Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn said the team won't sign veteran pass-rusher Dwight Freeney at this time, but haven't ruled him out for future consideration.

What's more likely: Offseason regret edition

In the latest 'What's More Likely?" the Around the NFL crew debate who will have more regret next season: The Bengals offense or Panthers defense?

Random Bytes

Prisco's Top 100 NFL players for 2016

A.J. Green continued to be one of the NFL's top receivers, catching 88 passes for a 15.1 average and 10 touchdowns. He put up those numbers even though starting quarterback Andy Dalton missed three games.

Broncos want to sever ties, rename Sports Authority Field

The Broncos no longer want to be associated with Sports Authority, the bankrupt retailer that will close all its stores this summer. After Sports Authority failed to make more than $2 million in payments on its agreement to act as the sponsor to Sports Authority Field, the team filed a motion in U.S. Bankruptcy Court trying to cancel the deal.

Jets release former English discus-thrower Lawrence Okoye

The Lawrence Okoye-as-football player experiment may be nearing its end. The former English discus-thrower, who the 49ers tinkered with for three offseasons, has been released by the Jets to make room for the addition of defensive end Shelby Harris.

CTE research moves on without NFL funding

Researchers are moving ahead with efforts to develop a diagnostic test for chronic traumatic encephalopathy - even without the NFL's help. Some of the nation's top brain scientists gathered Wednesday at the Boston University School of Medicine for the start of a seven-year, $16 million research project designed to find a test for CTE and identify its risk factors. For now, the disease increasingly found in former football players can only be diagnosed during an autopsy.

Nick Foles Reportedly Skipped LA Rams OTAs After Team Drafted Jared Goff

It seems not everyone in the Los Angeles Rams organization is pleased the franchise drafted Jared Goff. According to Jim Trotter of ESPN.com, Rams quarterback Nick Foles has skipped organized team activities and not taken part in any offseason programs since Los Angeles took the Cal quarterback with the top selection in this year's NFL draft on April 28. Trotter noted Foles was "a regular when offseason workouts began April 18."

NFL confirms Pro Bowl going to Orlando, moving back to AFC-NFC format

The NFL made the latest round of changes to the Pro Bowl official on Wednesday. As previously reported, the league’s annual all-star affair will be moving from Honolulu to Orlando as the league takes the game away from Hawaii for the third time since 1979. The change of location will coincide with a move back to having teams representing the AFC and NFC face off rather than the draft format used in the last three years.

Meet Joe Buck

Not the smug, unemotional voice of the NFL and MLB. Not the scion of nepotism. The real Joe Buck — the one who drops f-bombs with abandon, is married to a former Broncos cheerleader, hangs with Jon Hamm, and just might be America’s most underappreciated sports broadcaster.