It’s been more than three weeks since the Pro Bowl and Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth is still on the move. “Sunup to sunset,’ is the way he called it Monday at dusk after playing a round of golf back home in Louisiana. That was after a morning of doing some cross-training. And after an appearance on NFL Radio on Sirius XM. Which came after a weekend he flew back from Colorado, where he hiked the mountains. It won’t slow down next week, either. He’s headed to the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, where he says he’ll be a presidential bodyguard (joke) and sit in on the NFL competition committee meetings (no joke).
At this point in time last offseason, Bengals fans couldn’t wait to upgrade the right tackle position and allow former first-round pick Andre Smith to find another team in free agency. He battled inconsistency along with injury his final two seasons in Cincinnati, and with not one, but two top draft picks waiting in the wings the time came for both sides to move on with Smith signing to play for Mike Zimmer in Minnesota.
As the 2017 NFL Draft inches closer, mock drafts are everywhere. As I stated some time ago, even grandma has a wish list of linebackers in her recipe drawer. But, of all the shiny new toys that the Bengals could walk away with, they need to get the offensive line back on track. A solid line will go a long way in getting the Bengals to the Big Dance.
A former University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Bengals player is in the Butler County jail facing several charges for an incident Sunday. J.K. Schaffer played for the U.C. Bearcats from 2008 to 2011. He played high school football for LaSalle in Cincinnati and professional footbal with the Cincinnati Bengals. PHOTO: University of Cincinnati Football Staff Writer Jerome Kyle “J.K.” Schaffer, 26, was taken into about 10:15 a.m. at a church in Chapel Road in Morgan Twp., according to the sheriff’s office.
Cedric Benson played nearly a decade in the NFL, and now says it has impaired his ability to drive. Or spell. Or something. The longtime Bears and Bengals running back was charged with driving while intoxicated in Texas Saturday morning, and had a novel excuse for not undergoing a field sobriety test.
AFC North Bytes
eve Smith Sr. officially filed for his retirement last month, but the ultra-competitive former Ravens wide receiver knows himself too well to even help people train this offseason. Smith wants to stay disciplined, lest he find himself on the field next season at age 38.
Joe Thomas is keeping busy this offseason. Thomas, fresh off his 10th-straight trip to the Pro Bowl, revealed on Friday he’ll be a guest on ABC’s Celebrity Family Feud. The Browns left tackle on Friday offered his Twitter followers a glimpse of what’s to come.
I’ve already touched on several of the dated deadlines associated with Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell as it relates to the franchise tag over the course of the last few weeks and now it’s time to go over another deadline related to a defensive player on the team who have been asked about several times the last few days.
The Miami Dolphins, who didn't have a tight end tally more than 256 receiving yards last season, reportedly acquired some much-needed depth Monday. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, the Jacksonville Jaguars traded tight end Julius Thomas to the Dolphins. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reported Miami will send a late-round 2017 draft pick to the Jaguars in exchange. Rapoport later reported it would be for a seventh-round pick, adding Thomas will be in Miami on Tuesday for a physical.
There have been visits, and some other suggestions of interest in former Browns cornerback K’Waun Williams. But some teams have finally made tangible expressions of their desire. According to Darryl Slater of NJ.com, the Jets have offered the free agent corner a contract, one of four teams to do so.
Free agency is often looked as fool's gold. There's more value in the NFL draft because of the controlled price points of rookie contracts. But with a constantly rising cap, there are more opportunities for teams to build through free agency, particularly on the defensive side of the field, where you're only as good as your weakest link. Look at the defenses Denver and Seattle made Super Bowl runs with; they weren't possible without the free-agent additions of Aqib Talib, Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril.
The Jaguars cut defensive lineman Jared Odrick this week, just two years into what was billed as a five-year, $42.5 million deal. An injury that limited him to just six games last year was one reason, but Odrick’s off-field interests may have been another.