INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Leonard Fournette didn’t watch football growing up, didn’t dream about playing in the National Football League and doesn’t watch any current games. He didn’t have a favorite player and still doesn’t.
For the first time since the arrest of Adam Jones in January, director of player personnel Duke Tobin discussed the situation on Wednesday. Jones still awaits word from the NFL and Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters on his fate involving the three misdemeanors and one felony charge levied stemming from an incident in the early hours of Jan. 3.
It’s early, but defensive coordinator Paul Guenther says the Bengals are going to have the chance to draft an impact player on his side of the ball no matter what happens before they pick at No. 9. Even if eight defensive players were plucked, Guenther said Thursday during a break at the NFL scouting combine, “There’s going to be a good player there at nine,” at every level of defense.
The way it’s going, the Bengals aren’t going to have to make a call on LSU running back Leonard Fournette because he’ll be long gone by No. 9. The Jags at No. 4? The Jets at No. 6? The Panthers at No. 8? As Fournette addressed the media Thursday at the NFL scouting combine, he appeared to have all the momentum of one of his bull-strong runs for the Tigers that claimed his ankle and make some wonder how long he’ll last in the NFL.
Cincinnati Bengals tackle Andrew Whitworth might be testing the free-agent market for the first time next week. The Bengals have spoken twice with Whitworth’s representatives, and the two sides will likely speak again early next week prior to the opening of free agency next Thursday. Other teams may begin negotiating with Whitworth’s representatives on Tuesday.
In recent drafts, pinpointing a favorite defensive end of the Cincinnati Bengals only required viewing a single-file line of candidates and picking the one a head above the rest. Literally. Make no mistake, when evaluating pass rusher in the current defensive system the Bengals possess a prototype. The last four times they selected a defensive end in the first three rounds proves it
Bengals fans are eager to see what moves will be made to build a winner. Who will they sign in free agency, or will they sign anyone? What’s the draft plan? We will soon get answers to all the questions surrounding Who Dey Nation.
Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Bengals likely want at least a second-round pick for McCarron. The former Alabama quarterback started three regular-season games and one postseason game in 2015 after Andy Dalton suffered a broken thumb, and he nearly pushed the Bengals to a bye and, later, to the franchise’s first playoff win since 1991.
At heart, Duke Tobin is a scout. The Cincinnati Bengals director of player personnel is in his element at the NFL Scouting Combine, held this week in downtown Indianapolis. As such, he’s bothered by the fact that some players weren’t allowed to attend due to off-field incidents because “The history of this event was initially to get medical evaluations on a large group of players in the most efficient manner we can do it.”
AFC North Bytes
The NFL is a deadline-driven business, but the Steelers like to drive their own deadlines. Only days after a team-created artificial trigger for doing a deal with receiver Antonio Brown, the Steelers and running back Le’Veon Bell are in negotiations for a long-term contract, according to Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Media.
The NFL Scouting Combine is when draft rumors kick into high gear, and as of Thursday, the Cleveland Browns are being linked to North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky. Per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, the Browns are "strongly considering" Trubisky with the No. 1 overall pick in April's NFL draft.
The Baltimore Ravens really need to add a productive veteran wide receiver in free agency, and Brandon Marshall becomes one of the top available ones after news of his impending release broke Thursday night. Whether the Ravens pursue him depends on how the team addresses this pressing question: Does Marshall become an exception to the Ravens' stance on domestic violence?
Brandon Marshall’s time as a member of the New York Jets appears to be over. The six-time Pro Bowl receiver is reportedly going to be cut by the Jets, according to Newsday’s Kimberley A. Martin and Adam Schefter.
So many of us are still obsessed with him. The NFL is. The media is. Fans are. We are obsessed with a man who did almost nothing as a pro except hit the club. This week, that obsession continued during the underwear madness and testing apocalypse known as the NFL Scouting Combine. It seems no one can quite get enough of Johnny Manziel.
New head coaches arrive at the NFL combine like newlyweds fresh off their honeymoon. They've been nestled inside team headquarters since the day they were hired, basking in the afterglow of being named the Chosen One who will lead the franchise to the Promised Land. Then they step to the podium in Indianapolis, reporters fire off questions, and everything suddenly gets real.
Defensive tackle B.J. Raji left a contract offer from the Packers on the table around this time last year and announced that he’d be taking a “hiatus” from the NFL so that he could help take care of his ill mother and aunt.