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Bengals Bytes (5/3): High praise

Chad Johnson is still quick with the jokes. Vontaze Burfict gives rookie Nick Vigil quite the nickname. Meanwhile Gary Barnidge becomes the latest AFC North tight end to get surgery.

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A.J. Hawk preps for post-NFL career as podcast grows

It’s been a bit of a different spring for A.J. Hawk. The Centerville native has put ear buds in more often than a helmet over his head since the Cincinnati Bengals released him April 26.

Former UK, EKU running back Mobley showing resilience in Bengals’ camp

Former EKU running back Dy’Shawn Mobley is one of 13 undrafted free agents brought in to training camp for the Cincinnati Bengals to fight for a spot on the roster this offseason.

Chad Johnson: Only Thing Wrong With Me is 'Downstairs'

Is McDonald's the staple of a lean mass diet? Ochocinco seems to think so. The retired, loud-mouthed NFL star praises the fast food chain in his most recent Instagram video. He didn't feature his face in this one, only an impressive set of abs he credits to his McDonald's diet. He captioned the video "2 months of McDonald’s before each workout" and proceeded to laud America’s highest grossing restaurant.

Pittsburgh Steelers players say Baltimore Ravens still their top rival, not Cincinnati Bengals

Apparently the Pittsburgh Steelers won't give the Cincinnati Bengals the satisfaction of coming in first place in anything. The on-field theatrics of last season were not enough for Cincinnati to usurp the Baltimore Ravens as the Steelers' top rival, two starting players said at organized team activities this week.

Tyler Eifert's protege, 'Baby Eif' Tyler Kroft, clings to sage advice

After the Cincinnati Bengals' organized team activities (OTAs) this spring, injured tight end Tyler Eifert shot a few quick text messages to his slightly younger protege, fellow Bengals tight end Tyler Kroft.

Full list of Cincinnati Bengals' point spreads for Weeks 1-16

Cantor Technology released the spreads for every NFL game in Weeks 1-16. Below are the lines for Cincinnati Bengals games.

Bengals first-rounder William Jackson III eager to 'make a statement'

These are important days for Cincinnati Bengals' William Jackson III and other NFL rookies. As teams start passing the halfway point of organized team activities, as the Bengals did Wednesday, the time to shine this spring for first-year players is drawing to a close. After next week's OTAs, all Jackson and other Bengals rookies will have is a three-day minicamp before practices conclude until training camp in late July.

Cool hand nicknamed 'Luke'

The one thing Bengals rookie linebacker Nick Vigil hasn’t done since he arrived in the third round is talk. He’s flashed, dashed, and re-hashed while seducing the coaches, but he’s been a little light on the conversation. So when Vontaze Burfict, the brains of the outfit and the man Vigil backs up at WILL backer, asked Vigil if he could call him, "Luke," in honor of Panthers Pro Bowl middle linebacker Luke Kuechly, what was he supposed to say? "Whatever," is basically what happened.

Finding the Fits: Tyler Boyd gives Bengals' passing game a huge boost

This is part of a series -- Finding the Fits -- in which will review the more intriguing picks made during the 2016 NFL Draft. The goal is to identify one relatively unheralded player per team who appears to be a good schematic fit and, therefore, more likely to be a surprise contributor early in his pro career.)

Random bytes

Browns tight end Gary Barnidge undergoes sports hernia surgery, expected back during training camp

It's hard to miss a 6-6, 250-pound man during an organized team activities practice, so when Gary Barnidge was missing Wednesday, it sent up a red flag. Thursday, at the Browns Foundation Golf outing, Hue Jackson revealed that his Pro Bowl tight end underwent sports hernia surgery early that morning in Philadelphia.

Nine NFL players primed to make their Pro Bowl debuts

The 2017 Pro Bowl will return to the traditional AFC vs. NFC setup. Which players are poised to make their first Pro Bowl following the 2017? Gregg Rosenthal takes a close look.

2017 College Football Hall of Fame Ballot Released - National Football Foundation

The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today the names on the 2017 ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, including 75 players and six coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and 95 players and 29 coaches from the divisional ranks.

Randall Cobb says he won’t wear on-field microphone anymore

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has never been a fan of players wearing microphones during games and his feelings weren’t changed in the playoffs last year when wide receiver Randall Cobb suffered a punctured lung.

Jaguars extend Allen Hurns

The Jaguars have plenty of cash and cap space, and they plan to use it on some of their great young players. That process officially has begun. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Jaguars have extended the contract of receiver Allen Hurns by four years.

"No timetable" for Colin Kaepernick to resume on-field work

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been a regular at the 49ers’ offseason workouts, which puts him in line to earn a $400,000 bonus even though a series of offseason surgeries on his left shoulder, right thumb and left kneehave left him without clearance to fully participate in the team’s practices.

The NFL’s Brewing Information War

hen every important decision-maker in the NFL shuffled into a hotel conference room in Boca Raton, Florida, in March for the league’s annual meeting, the scene was initially predictable: Most of the head coaches wore golf shirts, and most everyone had found a way to make the meetings double as a family vacation. The atmosphere was festive, and the pools were full of league titans. It did not appear to be the setting for the opening salvo of a war over the future of the NFL, but that’s what it became.