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Bengals Bytes (6/25): Best option

Joe Mixon may be the best rookie option in fantasy football. The story behind how the Browns defensive lineman, Larry Ogunjobi, was forced to do football by his parents who were concerned for his health. Derek Carr destroys the Seahawks at his press conference.

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

Cincinnati Bengals' 2017 success will be motivated by Lewis
The question is a simple one. What’s the next step when your head coach is staring down the barrel of a loaded gun? It’s not a good feeling for the players or the coach. We won’t play the My Friend Has A Problem game. The coach in question is Marvin Lewis and the team is definitely the Bengals. After a dismal 6-9-1 campaign, the re-up for Lewis has been a long time coming. This may be his last hoorah.

Who Dey notes: Bengals training camp, Andre Smith could be the key
That familiar smell is in the air. Pigskin roasting on an open fire. Well, maybe the heat from a sweltering summer day can arouse those manufactured smells of vulcanized rubber (live long and prosper). Okay, I’ll just say it. The Bengals announced the opening of training camp and days to go watch the festivities. It’s time to pack a cooler full of fatty snacks, sugary drinks and the hopes for a successful 2017.

Cincinnati Bengals may have solved their identity problem
The Cincincinnati Bengals went into the offseason with a problem that needed to be solved. Two integral pieces of their offensive line were set to swim in the free agent pool. Eventually, the bell tolled for Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler. That meant there would have to be a few moves made to fix the O-line. The draft didn’t provide high-caliber choices and veteran players would surely break the bank. So, what’s next?

Why Cincinnati Needs to Extend Vontaze Burfict's Contract
It’s fitting that Vontaze Burfict wears tiger stripes while he plays, rather than wings or a halo. Because, with almost $800,000 in fines in five years of play, no one would ever consider the 26-year-old Cincinnati Bengals linebacker to be an angel.

Joe Mixon: Fantasy football bell cow based on advanced stats & metrics
Joe Mixon, though highly controversial for ethical/moral reasons, is the best back in this year’s draft class. He is on a better team than Leonard Fournette and his size suggests a better role then Christian McCaffrey. Mixon is the running back you should be taking after Corey Davis and Christian McCaffrey go off your draft board. Joe Mixon is the player that Fantasy Football players search high and low for, a three down back with size and speed plus the draft capital to get early playing time.

AFC North Bytes

Before football, Larry Ogunjobi was so obese his parents feared he’d die
Browns rookie defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi weighs in at 305 pounds — which is a whole lot less than he weighed when he first started playing football. Ogunjobi was a 350-pound teenager whose main interests were video games and junk food when his parents made him play football in a desperate attempt to get him healthy.

Matt Elam's Grand Theft, Domestic Battery Charges from May Arrest Dropped
Florida prosecutors dropped charges of grand theft and domestic battery against former Baltimore Ravens safety Matt Elam, the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec reported Wednesday. Authorities arrested Elam in May after he got into an argument with his girlfriend. According to Zrebiec, the victim was uncooperative during the investigation, and prosecutors were unable to find enough independent evidence to continue pursuing the charges.

2017 Offseason Questions: Division Raid - What AFC North Player Would You Steal?
The 2016 season is unfortunately over, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are now embarking upon their latest offseason journey, heading back to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the postseason is now behind us, there is plenty left to discuss. And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.

Random Bytes

Bill O'Brien: We won't have to limit Deshaun Watson
When the Texans took Deshaun Watson with the No. 12 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, he was viewed as the long-term solution to Houston's abyss of mediocrity at quarterback. The rookie signal-caller will battle for the starting gig throughout the summer against (the previously deemed illusory) Tom Savage. The Texans' staff has raved about Savage's progress this offseason, but Watson has also turned heads. Most importantly, he has caught the attention of head coach Bill O'Brien, although it also appears the Clemson product has to gain a lot of ground in the team's quarterback competition.

Derek Carr: I'll hand it to Marshawn on 1-yard line
It's pretty good to be Derek Carr these days. A new $125 million contract. As much Chick-fil-A as any human could ever want. The trendy Super Bowl buzz. And a new toy on offense in Marshawn Lynch. Pairing Lynch on the ground with the ascending Carr-Amari Cooper tandem in the air makes Oakland one of the most dynamic offenses in the league. The Raiders traded for the bruising running back this offseason with their eye on a run at a title, using Lynch as a punishing hammer on defenses, especially in the cold December contests and as the calendar turns to January.

Gase reached out to Manning after Tannehill injury
Dolphins coach Adam Gase reached out to retired quarterback Peyton Manning in the immediate aftermath of Ryan Tannehill’s knee injury last December. That’s according to Peyton’s father, Archie, who revealed that nugget in an interview with The New Orleans Times Picayune on Friday.

Talking Football with The MMQB’s Emily Kaplan
This week, we say farewell to a member of The MMQB team who has been with us almost since the beginning. Emily Kaplan is leaving to cover hockey, one of her first loves, for ESPN. She joined Sports Illustrated as an intern in the fall of 2013 and quickly worked her way up to a staff writer position. She spent the last year covering the college beat and chronicling the top NFL draft prospects in a weekly column for The MMQB.