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Bengal Bytes (2/7): Kicking into the sunset

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The most accurate kicker in Bengals history calls it quits. Joe Thomas casts some major shade over Justin Gilbert after the Steelers cut him. Now that it is draft season, start it off right with a seven round mock draft.

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Cincinnati Bengals v New England Patriots Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Doc: Bengals in the next Big Game? Book it

Now that you’ve been Gaga-ed and bean-dipped within an inch of your life and you don’t have football to kick around for six months, it’s time for a drastic suggestion that very likely could haunt us both until the end of Tom Brady’s Methuselah-n care

Still strong

Leah Still, a first-grader with the personality of your high school student council president and a vocabulary to match, is aghast. Devon Still, her father who wore No. 75 so famously for the Bengals a few years back, isn’t rooting for the Patriots in the Super Bowl this week. In fact Still, who now plays defensive end for the Texans, isn’t rooting for the Falcons, either, in the game taking place a couple of miles from his condo.

Graham, Bengals' most accurate kicker, retires after 15 seasons

A grateful and humble Shayne Graham, the most accurate kicker in Bengals history, announced his retirement Monday to end a career that spanned 15 seasons and 10 teams. Graham, 39, who didn’t kick this season after getting cut by Atlanta at the end of training camp, went from the waiver wire to the Bengals’ only Pro Bowl kicker ever in 2005 during his seven-season stint in Cincinnati he made 86.76 percent of his 204 field-goals attempts. Ironically, in his last Bengals game in the 2009 Wild Card Game against the Jets at Paul Brown Stadium he missed field goals of 28 and 35 yards in a 24-14 loss. He then went on to kick for seven more teams (his last-snap field goal gave the Saints a post-season win in 2013) and he’s currently 10th all-time with an 85.49 percentage.

Uncertainty has the Bengals starting off low in power rankings

A streak of five consecutive winning seasons and playoff appearances ended with a thud in 2016. The Bengals' defense, once filled with playmakers, managed 20 takeaways, tied for 19th in the NFL. The future of their secondary is uncertain, given Adam Jones' recent arrest and the pending free agency of cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick.

AFC North Bytes

Justin Gilbert Released by Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers announced Monday they released cornerback Justin Gilbert. Gilbert was in his first season with the Steelers after spending his first two years with the Cleveland Browns, who selected him eighth overall in the 2014 NFL draft.

Joe Thomas on Justin Gilbert getting waived by Steelers: 'If you don't like football . . . your star will burn out quick'

Just days after Johnny Manziel was selling autographs at Houston malls and hoping to get back into football, his fellow 2014 first-round pick Justin Gilbert is currently without a team, too. Traded to the Steelers in September for a 2018 sixth-round pick, Gilbert was waived Monday by them with a year left on his rookie contract.

Early odds for next Super Bowl teams are in; where do Ravens stand?

The early odds for Super Bowl 2018 teams are in, and the Ravens are a long way from being favorites. Online sports betting house Bovada has the Ravens in the middle of the NFL pack at 40-1. Fifteen NFL teams have better odds than the Ravens, including the Patriots of course, who are the early favorites.

Random Bytes

Summing up the Super Bowl 51 loss with one player comment and one picture

This isn’t something any of us want to hear right now, considering how badly Falcons fans are hurting, but everyone from Arthur Blank down to Josh Perkins is hurting like hell after that game. This is the kind of crushing, defining loss that either inspires greatness in its wake or sinks a team’s fortunes in the short-term. As much as I’d love to hop in a damn time machine and find out how good the Falcons are going to be next year, we’ll have to wait.

2017 NFL Mock Draft: Matt Miller's Post-Super Bowl Predictions

It's the most wonderful time of the year, football fans. With Super Bowl 51 in the books, it's officially NFL draft season. With the draft order set and just about every team having filled holes at general manager and head coach, there is no better time to roll out a new seven-round mock draft.

Aldon Smith: I’m back and nobody can stop me

The Raiders weren’t playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday, but they were the subject of a report that would seem to help their chances of getting there after next season.

Kyle Shanahan Named 49ers HC

Kyle Shanahan, the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons' top-scoring offense in 2016, will get his first job as a head coach with the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers announced the hiring Monday. The contract is for six years, according to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area.