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Bengals Bytes (6/19): The future

Who are the most important players for the Bengals’ future? A look at how the Browns may use Jabrill Peppers. The former head of officiating argued for the elimination of overtime.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals-Minicamp Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals got younger on defense, but O-line remains question
The Bengals wanted to get younger and faster on defense, and add some speed to their receivers group. Parting ways with Karlos Dansby and Rey Maualuga in favor of Nick Vigil and Kevin Minter was a start. Provided John Ross is healthy, he could be the deep threat the Bengals have been missing. They lose points for not addressing their offensive-line issues. Grade: B-

New look Cincinnati Bengals to open playbook; scoring is key
It’s no secret the Bengals have gotten younger and faster this offseason. But, the true story is the players who will take on roles we haven’t seen from the team. The first player–and one I’m very excited about this year–is Carl Lawson. He’s a strong but very athletic linebacker who can do it all. Lawson will take on a “Von Miller” type of roll, per Vontaze Burfict.

5 Most Important Players For Future Of Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals, the perennial tease team in the NFL, have been snatched up and masticated by the jaws of defeat more times than any diehard fan cares to remember. There are few things worse than cheering for a team that has it all together but can never put it together in the postseason. The Bengals have the franchise quarterback, a future Hall of Fame wide receiver and a few of the NFL’s standout defensive players. They have made it to the playoffs six of the last eight years, but they haven’t made it out of the wild-card round in 27 years.

Cincinnati Bengals: Top 3 breakout candidates for 2017

Young Bengals players are ready to show their abilities after the departures of numerous veterans. Some players didn’t get to show what they’re capable of, due to vets being in front of them and a lack of playing time. The youngsters will be pushed up to the spotlight and be expected to perform at a high level. Although players like William Jackson III and Andrew Billings are going to be exciting to watch over the season, it’ll be their first action. They can’t necessarily be a breakout candidate unless they’ve shown some sort of flash in their short careers.

AFC North Bytes

Baltimore Ravens' biggest offseason question remains offensive line
Improve the secondary and pass rush. The Ravens' playoff hopes were dashed in the final four games last season, when Baltimore allowed 264 yards passing (sixth-most over that span) and managed three total sacks. As a result, the Ravens lost three times, including a last-minute defeat to the rival Pittsburgh Steelers that eliminated Baltimore from the postseason. This offseason was a reaction to the disappointing finish in 2016. The Ravens upgraded the secondary by investing $19 million guaranteed in free-agent safety Tony Jefferson and using the No. 16 overall pick on cornerback Marlon Humphrey. Baltimore also brought in young legs to get after the passer, drafting Tyus Bowser in the second round and Tim Williams in the third.

Antonio Brown Thinks Best Way To Honor Dan Rooney Is To Add To Trophy Case
Since his unfortunate passing back in April, members all throughout Steelers Nation have been looking for ways to pay homage to the late Dan Rooney in a fashion that would best commemorate his life and his impact on the lives of so many others in many different walks of life. And that includes his employees at the Pittsburgh Steelers, to whom he gave the best of his life over the course of better than half a century. He helped shape the course and fate of not only his father’s football franchise, but of the league as a whole.

How will Jabrill Peppers’ distribution usage look in 2017?
At the end of minicamp this past week, Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Gregg Williams pointed out how everyone on defense is going to learn two positions. That might not apply to some players as much as it does others, but the impression is that it will certainly apply to rookie safety Jabrill Peppers.

Random Bytes

Blandino argued for eliminating overtime
When the NFL discussed changes to its overtime format, former head of officiating Dean Blandino’s argument was simple: Just get rid of it. Blandino, who recently left the league to work for FOX, was asked by Colin Cowherd whether anybody ever argued for getting rid of overtime. Blandino answered, “Yours truly.”

Eric Decker Agrees to 1-Year Contract with Titans After 3 Seasons with Jets
The Tennessee Titans and wide receiver Eric Decker agreed to terms on a one-year contract Sunday, announced the team. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported it's a one-year deal.

NFL Nostalgia: Ranking the Best Offenses in NFL History
You are about to meet a handful of champions and lots of football history's most memorable failures. Something about fielding an all-time great offense doomed many of the teams on this countdown to an epic playoff defeat. Maybe defense really does win championships. More likely, balance wins championships, and the gaudy stats rung up by these high-octane offenses were overcompensation for some fatal flaw.

Peter King on Randy Moss, NFL Equality, Commencement
How the Vikings went from ‘the biggest mistake they ever made’ to now honoring their former mercurial receiver, with the help of an old friend. Plus more on NFL team leadership progress, a stunning Colin Kaepernick stat and the wise words heard at college graduation ceremonies this year.