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Bengals Bytes (5/9): No funny business

Don’t expect anything strange in Joe Mixon’s contract despite the controversy surrounding the player. Can the Brown beat the Vegas line of 4.5 wins? What free agent signings should’ve happened this offseason?

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NCAA Football: Oklahoma Pro Day Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State Football: When Bengals rookie LB Brandon Bell was a recruit
Before linebacker Brandon Bell broke through as a Penn State starter and team captain, the newly signed Cincinnati Bengals rookie wreaked havoc on football fields throughout southern New Jersey.

Bengals: Kicker Jake Elliott looks forward to competition
Marvin Lewis has never used a draft pick on a kicker in his 14 years as the boss of the Bengals, so it certainly opened some eyes when Cincinnati took Jake Elliott in the fifth round last month.

Former Cincinnati Bengals player no longer calling games for CBS
Former Cincinnati Bengals defensive back Solomon Wilcots announced Sunday his 16-year run of calling games for CBS has come to an end.

Bengals Insider: Expect nothing strange in Mixon’s contract
One of the common misperceptions surrounding the drafting of college athletes with “red flags” is that that the clubs in the National Football League can adjust contract lengths or weave in specific language within the contract (or, “protections”) regarding future behavior that can let them terminate a contract without too much of a negative effect on its salary cap.

Minter, Benwikere quietly blending into Bengals defense
The Cincinnati Bengals are not one to make “splashes” on the unrestricted free agent market. They re-sign or extend their own (see Dre Kirkpatrick), or dip back into pools they’re familiar with (see Andre Smith, Wallace Gilberry).

Occasionally, they venture into the unknown.

Green, Tez 'C' new room
Those winds of change that A.J. Green blew into Bengaldom with Andy Dalton six years ago are here again as the locker hierarchy re-orders itself in the post-Whit and Peko era.

“We lost some great leaders,” said linebacker Vontaze Burfict, along with Domata Peko the de facto captain of the defense for the last four years. “We have a whole bunch of leaders in here. But certain guys are stepping up now.”

Ben-Gals Cheerleader Auditions
Ben-Gal Cheerleaders host final auditions at Newport Syndicate 5/7/2017

*Pictures taken by Steve France

AFC North Bytes

Will 2017 be the year the Steelers finally average 30 points per game?
The 2014 season ushered in a paradigm shift in Pittsburgh’s philosophy. The secondary—which, just two years earlier, was the best unit in the NFL—was a bottom-5 unit, while the offense came just 29 yards shy of besting the Saints as the NFL’s most prolific squad. Ben Roethlisberger was the NFL co-leader in yards, while both Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell established themselves as arguably the best players in the league at their positions. With Bell, Brown, Roethlisberger and a stable of other solid weapons (including a still-productive Heath Miller and the explosive Martavis Bryant), the Steelers looked poised to maintain their status as an elite offense (debatably the best offense in franchise history) in the years ahead.

#HeyTony: Can the Browns beat the Vegas line of 4.5 wins?
The wise guys in Vegas probably set the over/under win totals mostly based on quarterbacks. The Browns currently have no quarterback on their roster who has ever won an NFL game in a Browns uniform – Cody Kessler, Brock Osweiler, Kevin Hogan and DeShone Kizer. Frankly, it’s a credit to high expectations of defensive improvement that the O/U is that high. Right now, I would say under. But I reserve the right to change my mind.

Rayshad Lewis, son of Ray Lewis, to transfer and play football at Maryland
For almost two decades, Ray Lewis was one of the main attractions when it came to football in Maryland. Now, another Lewis will have the chance to make a name for himself in the Old Line State.

Rayshad Lewis, Ray's son, announced Monday on his Twitter that he'll be transferring to College Park to play for the Terps. He'll be able to debut for DJ Durkin's team in 2018 after sitting out next season.

Random Bytes

Fantasy Football summit point-per-reception rankings for 2017
Once the NFL draft is complete, more than two dozen men and women, including fantasy writers and editors, NFL writers, researchers and other members of the football operation here at ESPN, spend two full days talking about the game we love. Many topics are discussed from various angles, including the utilization of metrics, film study, fantasy strategy, intel gathered from team sources and much more.

Could Patriots' Derek Rivers Prove Biggest Steal of 2017 NFL Draft?
If you're a Patriots fan, the 2017 NFL draft might have been a bit boring at first.

The Pats had traded their first-round pick to the Saints for receiver Brandin Cooks, and they shipped their second-round pick to the Panthers for defensive lineman Kony Ealy. Thus, New England was slotted to make its first pick with the 72nd overall selection—the longest such wait in franchise history, and the only time the team had gone without first- and second-round picks.

Sources: Seahawk Jarran Reed investigated for assault
Bellevue Police responded to a complaint from an adult female who claimed that Seattle Seahawk Jarran Reed had assaulted her in late April, according to sources close to the Bellevue Police Department.

The alleged incident happened on April 27 at 3 a.m. at a home in Bellevue.

NFL Free-Agent Signings That Should Have Happened
When the tidal wave of NFL free agency ebbs at the end of March, a lot of fans are disappointed that their teams didn't address certain roster holes. But those fans can usually take solace in the fact April's draft will give their franchises another opportunity to address said holes.

The 2017 draft is over. Many holes remain.

We can now use hindsight in order to reflect on the heart of free agency and take a look at several moves that teams might wish they had made.

Here are 10 that stand out.