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Bengals Bytes (6/8): Art of the deal

Chris Crocker is back at Bengals practice, but this time as a guest coach. Investigators are looking into whether Aqib Talib shot himself, and how teams and players handle holdouts.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals OTAs 6/7: Phpto Gallery
The Cincinnati Bengals hosted OTAs at Paul Brown Stadium's practice fields 6/7/2016. Here are pictures from the session.

Rey Maualuga & The Pacific Kitchen Host Bengals’ Taste of the NFL
Join the Cincinnati Bengals and the Freestore Foodbank in tackling hunger. Bengals Linebacker Rey Maualuga along with Chef Michael Ly of The Pacific Kitchen will host the 14th Annual Taste of the NFL presented by TriHealth on Wednesday, June 15. The annual Freestore Foodbank benefit will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the West Club Lounge at Paul Brown Stadium. Taste of the NFL gives Cincinnati Bengals fans the unique opportunity to mix and mingle with members of the entire Bengals football team – including players, coaches and alumni, enjoy dinner-by-the-bite from the best restaurants in town, and help their hometown team tackle hunger in our community. More than 40 restaurants will serve up dishes including The Pacific Kitchen, Holtman’s Donuts, Jean Robert’s Table, nada, SALAZAR, and Pontiac BBQ.

Dalton trades in playbook for wine list, serves as celeb waiter downtown
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton traded in his playbook for a wine list Monday night, serving as a celebrity waiter for his foundation’s charity event.

Can Andy Dalton Lead The Bengals To Houston?
There’s no doubt about it. The Bengals have become more than an oddity, when it comes to watching the NFL. Since playing The Game, interest in the Orange and Black has soared. Even Andy Dalton has become a lightweight icon, to fans of the game. But the only thing Bengals faithful are concerned about is winning. Cincinnati backers are hungry for a playoff victory. If Dalton stays healthy, that can easily be accomplished.

How the Cincinnati Bengals will weather Vontaze Burfict's suspension
If you read ESPN's list of 100 predictions that will frame the 2016 NFL season, you saw my blurb about the Cincinnati Bengals and soon-to-be-suspended linebacker Vontaze Burfict. I wrote that the Bengals' defense would be minimally impacted by the absence of Burfict for the first three games of the season. As a matter of fact, that layoff could prove beneficial by Week 4.

Notes: Crocker makes another return, hopes Hall follows; Burney vows rotation; Geno rolls
Chris Crocker, who went from the waiver wire to one of the most significant careers in Bengals history, joined the team this week as a coach in the Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Coaching Internship Program. But whether it portends a spring mini-reunion of the 2009 secondary that fueled a division sweep and the second of head coach Marvin Lewis’ four AFC North titles remains to be seen.  The Bengals are apparently still talking to cornerback Leon Hall about the possibility of a deal. Hall, the co-MVP of that ’09 team with fellow cornerback Johnathan Joseph, became a free agent this season at age 31.

Full circle
The Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Coaching fellowship program has taken the NFL by storm, but it has always had a uniquely Bengals feel to it.  Walsh began his NFL career in Cincinnati as Bengals founder Paul Brown’s top offensive assistant coach, the wide receivers and quarterbacks coach for the man who broke the pro football color line in 1946. And current Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis became one of the first participants in the late ‘80s before using it every year on as many candidates as he can when he became a head coach in 2003.

LaFell Seeks Second Ring In Cincinnati
When veteran wide receiver Brandon LaFell became a free agent this offseason, his goal was to sign with a team that had a chance to win and a good quarterback. After two weeks of OTA practices with the Bengals, LaFell sounds confident that he found what he was looking for in Cincinnati.

Bengals working with three coaches in Bill Walsh program
The Bengals coaching staff is welcoming three coaches to work with the team as interns in the 2016 Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Coaching fellowship program.

Notes: Young linebackers get reps, Crocker's coaching shot
Vontaze Burfict and Rey Maualuga were interested observers Tuesday as the Cincinnati Bengals competed in the final organized team activities (OTA) open to the media, leaving linebackers coach Jim Haslett to mix and match his rotations with veterans Vinny Rey and Karlos Dansby, along with rookie Nick Vigil, last year’s third-round pick P.J. Dawson, 2014 sixth-round pick Marquis Flowers and undrafted free agents Trevor Roach, Jayson DiManche and Gionni Paul.

Random Bytes

Exclusive: Vincent Kompany to join ESPN as Euro 2016 studio analyst
Superstar Manchester City defender and Belgian national star Vincent Kompany will miss the Euro 2016 tournament with a groin injury, but will remain involved in the proceedings by making appearances on ESPN as a studio analyst, Awful Announcing can exclusively reveal.

Players filling biggest needs for all 32 teams - James Bradberry of Carolina Panthers, Daniel McCullers of Pittsburgh Steelers
The Panthers have to find a replacement for cornerback Josh Norman. A third-year nose tackle will take over for the Steelers. The Redskins are getting back a pass-rusher who missed the entire 2015 season. NFL Nation reporters choose the player who will fill the biggest need for every team.

Here are the 7 tiers of NFL quarterbacks and where all 32 starters fit in
There is a timeless and endless debate in the NFL over who the best quarterbacks in the league are. It has raged forever at water coolers and at bars and over the internet and it will continue for as long as men are throwing footballs on television for a living.

Super Bowl Investment: They Pay These Guys How Much?!
How do NFL teams allocate resources? Dave Archibald has looked at the real price of contract extensions and draft picks on quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, offensive linemen, the trends on offense in general and cornerbacks. In this installment, he looks at Super Bowl investment how the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos were built.

Light Sentence for Brock Turner in Stanford Rape Case Draws Outrage
In court, the victim denounced her attacker’s six-month sentence, while the attacker’s father complained that his son’s life had been ruined for "20 minutes of action."

Despite success Mike Zimmer's Minnesota Vikings still 'blue collar'
Head coach Mike Zimmer's star is rising in the NFL, but he hasn't let that change his approach to winning. He'll take photos and sign autographs when called upon, but the taciturn Vikings boss isn't exactly one to seek out the spotlight.

NFL owners, coaches say a developmental league is needed and here's what's brewing
The limos were lined up bumper-to-bumper around the sprawling driveway and the private planes waited on tarmacs nearby as NFL owners scrambled to get back home after wrapping up another league meeting. The climate is changing, and a league or academy will be much more of a front-burner issue in 2016.

NFL QB Valuations: Top 10
Here is our top 10 QB values for the last three years. Part 1 and Part 2 give the basic criteria used to come up with a salary value for the players as well as the players ranked from 32-11.

Negotiating Better Contracts for the NFL Player
I saw today on Twitter a comment about Rob Gronkowski possibly being unhappy with his contract and just yesterday Reshad Jones of the Dolphins said he may sit out the year if the team doesn’t rework his contract. I thought that this might make a good time to bring up some of the things that Bryce and I have recently discussed on the podcast and that Bryce goes a bit more into detail about in his look at the misguided use on APY to value a contract and how to better look at a contract.

Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas thanks President Obama for pardoning his mother
While the Denver Broncos were honored at the White House Monday for winning Super Bowl 50, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas had a special message for President Obama. Thank you.

Investigators looking at whether Aqib Talib shot self
Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib has been released from the hospital after suffering a gunshot wound to his right leg Sunday morning in Dallas. Investigators looking into the shooting are trying to determine whether Talib accidentally shot himself, sources close to the multiple probes told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.