Rex Burkhead has spent the majority of his NFL career as a role player, chipping in as a backup running back and special teamer in four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. Two of his former coaches believe he can be much more than that for the New England Patriots.
The Bengals head into Draft Month focusing on just that. The Draft. After a brisk three weeks of free agency have come and gone, Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin has the floor. The release of middle linebacker Rey Maualuga last weekend looks to be the final major pre-draft move in a fitting finish to an offseason they have pledged to get younger and faster. After they picked up six free agents and lost six free agents, the final tally showed them securing four starters with an average age of 28 and losing three with an average age of 31 while keeping their powder dry for two more compensation draft picks next year.
Most of the stories concerning the Bengals were about free agency. The Bengals will head into next season without some familiar faces. Among them are Andrew Whitworth, Kevin Zeitler, Domata Peko, Rex Burkhead and Margus Hunt. The Bengals also showed Rey Maualuga the door last week. Releasing the linebacker after being in Cincinnati since he was drafted in 2009.
As long as there has been free agency, there have been Bengals fans airing frustration about losing quality offensive guards. From Max Montoya to Eric Steinbach and now Kevin Zeitler, the Bengals allowed each to leave with years left to play in the league.
AFC North Bytes
The Cleveland Browns are going to keep the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft later this month. That's what coach Hue Jackson told the media at the NFL Owners meetings this week. I assume he's speaking for the entire organization. Keep it simple. Take the No. 1 pick. Use it on the No. 1 player on the draft board.
While Mike Tomlin and Keith Butler took in Tennessee's Pro Day, Steelers quarterback's coach Randy Fichtner took in Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes' Pro Day on Friday. The 6'3, 230-pound passer was incredibly prolific over the past two seasons, throwing for a combined 9,705 yards to go with 77 touchdowns and 25 interceptions. He is currently slated as a late first/early second round pick by CBS Sports.
Speaking of bargaining, word is that the Ravens were serious contenders for WR Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery is said to be the coveted complementary receiver that Ozzie Newsome mentioned during the State of The Ravens presser. Jeffery eventually accepted a 1-year deal with the Eagles for $14M, spurning an offer from the Ravens believed to be a 5-year deal that could have been worth up to $65M, if the oft-injured Jeffery hit reasonable playing time incentives.
At the age of 40, retired NFL superstar Randy Moss is changing sports to pursue a career in the USL with the Charlotte Independence.
This is the first time Mississippi State has ever reached the Final Four. I scored 41 points in the game that got us there, our 94–85 upset of Baylor on Sunday. After the game, someone even told me it was the most points scored by any SEC player in the history of the women’s tournament.
When the Dolphins cut Dion Jordan on Friday, they closed the book on the 2013 draft, which was a bad one in Miami. Less than four years later, there are now no Dolphins remaining from that draft class.
Add diet to the list of potential reasons quarterback Colin Kaepernick hasn't been able to find a landing spot so far in free agency. Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reported Friday that NFL teams are "unconvinced" about Kaepernick's commitment to football and "wonder" about his vegan lifestyle.