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Bengals Bytes (5/5): Boom or bust

The Bengals had a draft filled with players who could either boom or bust. Ben Roethlisberger says Martavis Bryant needs to earn everyone’s trust. Where could the remaining big name free agents end up?

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Flying Pigskin Podcast: Is Mixon Good or Bad for the Cincinnati Bengals?
The Bengals second-round draft pick overshadowed the rest. What will the team look like on the field and off the field with Joe Mixon? WCPO sports anchors Ken Broo and John Popovich look ahead to the 2017 season on this post-draft edition of Flying Pigskin.

Consider this: Don't forget the Bengals who deserve our support
The sad thing is stories about Joe Mixon, and other players caught in bad behavior, like Adam Jones, just overshadow the Bengals who are doing great things. The Bengals say Mixon deserves a second chance, but many fans are now saying enough is enough, and that they can no longer support a team on the field who supports players with violent history off the field. Some fans are even calling for boycott.

Dallas Cowboys: Grading the Cowboys' draft; why Bengals are an unfortunate team for Joe Mixon to go to
I don't think it has to go badly for Mixon in Cincinnati. I think it's unfortunate for him. Feels like he is now tied into Pacman Jones and Burfict and all the Bengals issues that have nothing to do with him. I don't really get the TV station that is trying to boycott the team now. They didn't think the Bengals had problems before?

Cincinnati Bengals tab Carl Lawson as an outside linebacker
The Cincinnati Bengals issued jersey numbers to their rookies this week, and former Auburn standout Carl Lawson got No. 58. That means, on the roster at least, the Tigers' defensive end will be a Bengals' outside linebacker.

AFC North draft grades: Bengals make boom-or-bust picks
The Bengals' first two draft picks -- John Ross and Joe Mixon -- are too iffy for Conor Orr's liking. Will these flashy prospects pan out? Check out draft grades for Cincy and the rest of the AFC North.

A hometown Joe
‘Casey Lewis is the flip side of the coin, another take, a page inside the cover of the book when it comes to Bengals rookie running back Joe Mixon. Then there is Kevin Hartwig, Mixon’s coach at Oakley’s Freedom High School hard between San Francisco and Sacramento. He’s watching Mixon this week as we speak, high-fiving and greeting the track team a few days before he makes his NFL debut at the Bengals rookie minicamp that begins with a Friday afternoon practice.

Is Carl Lawson next in the line of Willie Anderson, Takeo Spikes for the Bengals?
Willie Anderson and Takeo Spikes started their long NFL careers with the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals got another former Auburn standout in the NFL Draft last week, and Anderson compares Carl Lawson to Spikes in intensity and emotion.

Veteran safety Taylor Mays draws invite to Patriots rookie mini-camp
The New England Patriots have invited Taylor Mays, who hasn't played in the NFL since 2015, to rookie mini-camp, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. A former second-round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers out of Southern California, Mays lasted just one season in the Bay Area before being traded to Cincinnati. Mainly used on special teams, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound bruiser played 50 games in four years there before signing with Oakland for the 2015 season.

Billy Hamilton of Cincinnati Reds says he's willing to race Cincinnati Bengals rookie WR John Ross
Cincinnati is nicknamed the "Queen City," but with Billy Hamilton playing center field for the Reds and wide receiver John Ross joining the Bengals, maybe the moniker "Speed City" would be more appropriate.

With the two speedsters sharing the same city, Hamilton entertained the idea of a race between the two.

Cincinnati Bengals open 3-day rookie camp Friday
With voluntary offseason workouts in full swing for the Cincinnati Bengals, most of the players will be at the facility Friday as the youngster additions to the squad filter in for the start of rookie camp, which runs through Sunday.

And given the buzz around first-round pick John Ross and second rounder Joe Mixon, some of the veterans might make their way out to the field to get a glimpse of two of the more explosive offensive weapons the team has drafted of late.But linebacker Vinny Rey won’t be one of them.

AFC North Bytes

Ben Roethlisberger on Martavis Bryant: “He has to win back everybody’s trust”
Ben Roethlisberger is glad to have Martavis Bryant back with the team. But it’s going to take some time to know whether the Steelers quarterback can trust the twice-suspended but just-reinstated wide receiver.

Baltimore Ravens: 3 ways to help offensive production
Baltimore Ravens fans are probably not too thrilled about the prospect of Marty Mornhinweg calling the shots for the offense. Of course he doesn’t have a ton of play-makers to work with, so that’s another thing to be frustrated about. Ravens fans don’t expect much from their offense. The last time the Ravens had a top 10 offense was in 1997 (a fact that NFL Network showed multiple times during the draft). The purple and black have always been a team focused on dominant defense. They won a Super Bowl in the 2000 season strictly because of defense. While Ravens fans are conditioned not to get their hopes up when their team has the ball, nothing would excite the Baltimore fan base more than a productive offense.

Hue Jackson thinks DeShone Kizer will be compared to Ben Roethlisberger
At some point in the days leading up to the two Browns-Steelers games each year, we get a reminder that the Browns had an opportunity to draft the Ohio-born Ben Roethlisberger in 2004 and chose tight end Kellen Winslow instead.

Random Bytes

Jay Cutler exploring potential career in TV broadcasting
Jay Cutler is thinking about pulling a Tony Romo.

The former Chicago Bears quarterback, who has received little interest from teams (at least as an unquestioned starter), is exploring a post-football career in broadcasting, according to multiple television sources and people with knowledge of Cutler's thinking.

Pete Carroll: Relationship with Richard Sherman “as good as it’s ever been”
The month or so leading up to the draft featured plenty of discussion about the possibility of the Seahawks trading Richard Sherman with the team acknowledging that it had spoken to other teams.

Bills Have Mishandled Sammy Watkins and Can't Escape Embarrassment in 2017
Embarrassment is a strong word in the language of sports. Broadly, it means expectations were high and the result was depressingly low. That about sums up the last 18 years of Buffalo Bills football.

But it both does and doesn't describe Sammy Watkins' career.

NFL Free Agents 2017: Projecting Homes for Best Players on Market, Post-Draft
With the 2017 NFL draft in the rearview mirror, the offseason is about to enter its second phase.

Now that clubs have picked up rookies to fill roster holes, they can go about fleshing out the remainder through free agency.

One might think that after almost two months of free agency, the bones would have been picked clean. Far from it. In fact, there's more than a little meat left.