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Bengals Bytes (3/7): Checking the numbers

Check out how a few of the players the Bengals could potentially pick did at the combine. AFC North teams are looking to pull off some inner divisional poaching in free agency. Jay Gruden got an extension, but what is happening in Washington?

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

By releasing two veterans, Bengals could open $11.2M in cap space

The NFL salary cap has been set at $167 million this year, and with free agency just days away, the Bengals have money to spend. But with a history of being fairly inactive in free agency, and several of their own free agents to sign, it looks doubtful they’ll make a Day 1 splash.

First part of free agency opens Tuesday

The Bengals’ run-up to free agency has mirrored the recent past as they talk to their players in an attempt to nail down contracts and it’s going down to the last minute, which in this case is noon Tuesday. That’s when teams, if they haven’t already tampered, can start taking to agents of players from other teams for the next 52 hours. They can’t reach a deal in principle or sign a contract until 4 p.m. Thursday. Also in that window, players can’t make recruiting trips or talk to the teams themselves.

Brooks and Zierlein recap Day 4 of the Combine

"NFL Now Live's" Bucky Brooks and Lance Zierlein recap Day 4 of the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine.

The Latest Mock Drafts: 1.0

See who media outlets are predicting the Bengals will select at number nine in their most recent mock drafts. Tired of scavenging the internet for 2017 Mock Drafts? No worries, Bengals.com did the legwork for you. See who media outlets are predicting the Bengals will select at number nine in their most recent mock drafts.

Cincinnati Bengals could benefit by spending more in free agency

The Cincinnati Bengals have been one of the least active teams in free agency over the past three years, ranking 30th in the NFL in total signings and 28th in total contract value. Here's a look at how those decisions have panned out on the field

2017 NFL Combine: How Potential Bengals Picks Have Performed

The NFL combine is in full swing and several prospects have already turned heads and raised their draft grades. Others have simply raised eyebrows. With the Bengals in need of several roster upgrades across the board, the rise and fall of stock for prospective selections brings extra intrigue. Let’s check in on some trendy Cincinnati mock picks.

AFC North Bytes

Report: Browns among teams interested in WR Kamar Aiken

Free agency is just around the corner! According to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report, the Cleveland Browns are among six teams who are interested in free agent wide receiver Kamar Aiken. Former #...

Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns could pair at NFL draft

The top draft prospect put on a show in Indianapolis, making the No. 1 choice pretty easy—or that much harder. Here’s a look at the Cleveland dilemma. Plus items on the D.C. drama, the Patriots’ new DVD and more.

Indiana G Dan Feeney plays card games in Combine interview with Browns

The Combine's top-rated guard couldn't have entirely known what would come in a meeting with the Cleveland Browns. Playing card games wasn't exactly on the radar.

Free Agent Rumors: Steelers reportedly interested in Browns WR Terrelle Pryor

The Cleveland Browns got a steal when they acquired former quarterback Terrelle Pryor to be a wide receiver. The tall and athletic playmaker became a legitimate threat on a weekly basis for the Browns. Sure, his statistics might not be near those of Antonio Brown or Julio Jones, but look at who is throwing him passes on a game-by-game basis in Cleveland.

Random Bytes

Deion Sanders' NFL Combine Story is Amazing

It's NFL combine time, which also means it's time we hear about the weird questions teams ask players and the stupid tests they give them. Franchises are trying to decide which college kid they'll invest millions of dollars in, so they go to great lengths to try and evaluate a player's character.

Forget Jay Gruden’s extension, the Washington Redskins have never been more dysfunctional

In a move intended to promote stability but one that actually shines a light on the complete disarray of a franchise, Washington announced a two-year contract extension with Jay Gruden on Monday. It’s the first such deal owner Dan Snyder has ever given to a coach. (He bought the team in 1999. Let that one simmer for a bit.) But the Redskins want you to believe the simple extension is more than that. It’s the dawn of a new day. (Again.) There’s finally order in the front office. (For real this time.) Snyder has stopped his Steinbrenner ways. (Seriously.) Washington has committed to a coach for the long haul, a show of confidence that will help instill confidence in the franchise, promote stability and signal to the rest of the league that things are different in Washington. (No, really — they mean it.)

Report: NFL team pans former Michigan State DL Malik McDowell: 'Worst interview we did'

Former Michigan State DL Malik McDowell received the dubious distinction of being named a "loser" of the 2017 NFL Combine. Why? McDowell’s overall numbers didn’t jump off the page, but at 6-foot-6 and 295 pounds, his 4.85-second 40-yard dash mark had to intrigue scouts, as well as his ability to play across the line.

Vincent Jackson of Tampa Bay Buccaneers has no plans to retire

Free-agent wide receiver Vincent Jackson, who recently turned 34, wants to continue playing and doesn't intend to retire at this time, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Offensive line 'where the weakness is' in NFL draft

Unfortunately for the Vikings, they are not the only team looking to find better blockers. A recent report listed offensive line as a top-three need for about half of the league's teams.

2017 NFL Mock Draft: Matt Miller's Post-Combine Projections

The 2017 NFL combine is in the books and with it, the stock of many players rose and fell due to 40 times, agility numbers, medical concerns and interviews. The combine isn't just about who runs fast or throws around 225 pounds, after all. It's equally about interviews and how well players handle themselves under the pressure of NFL executives asking hard questions.