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Bengals Bytes (6/28): Coming back

Why one national media outlet says you should root for the Bengals this offseason. Zach Orr could be coming out of retirement after suffering a spine injury. Kirk Cousins and Washington clearly don’t have the best relationship right now.

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NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Why you should root for the Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals haven't won a single playoff game under Marvin Lewis. But with guys like A.J. Green, Andy Dalton and John Ross on offense, Adam Rank says this could be Cincinnati's time.

Bengals Sign G Cameron Lee
The Bengals signed G Cameron Lee, a rookie free agent out of Illinois State. Lee (6-6, 320) played in 39 games in four years at Illinois State (2013-16), with starts in all 25 games his junior and senior seasons. He signed as a college free agent with the New Orleans Saints after the 2017 NFL Draft and was released June 15.

A Season of Bengals Fun Facts
Every week during the season on the Bengals Radio Network pre-game show, I do a segment called “Fantastic Fun Facts” with a player, coach, or Bengals legend. It’s a brief life story of that week’s subject where we get away from the X’s and O’s of football and focus on their backgrounds, families, and interests off of the field. Here are a few interesting nuggets that we learned from the segment last season.

Bradley Roby: Bengals were going to pick me in 2014
The Broncos have an embarrassment of riches at the cornerback position. They nearly didn’t. In a recent profile from Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post, cornerback Bradley Roby said that the Bengals had told him he’d be their pick with the 24th pick in the first round of the 2014 draft.

Bengals 50: Bob Bedinghaus
This season marks the 50th of football for the Cincinnati Bengals, five decades filled with highs, lows, dynamic personalities and innovations that changed the face of the National Football League. The Enquirer brings you the 50 most influential people in Bengals history through various forms of media, bringing you the names and untold stories that shaped this franchise over its first half century – good, bad and ugly.

Vince Young slams former Bengals quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick
Vince Young, the former Texas star, Heisman runner-up and 2006 NFL Rookie of the Year for the Titans now a backup quarterback for the CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders, says he doesn't understand why Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was the Cincinnati Bengals' starting quarterback for most of the 2008 season before playing for the Bills, Titans, Texans, Jets and now Bucs, remains an NFL QB - in remarks made to SI.com's Greg Bishop.

Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals lines on different spectrums
The Browns’ and Bengals’ offensive lines couldn’t be much different. One is arguably the league’s best on paper, the other is a work in progress. One is the result of a spending spree, the other was victimized by free agency.

AFC North Bytes

Le'Veon Bell, Steelers Reportedly Not Close to New Contract Agreement
The Pittsburgh Steelers and superstar running back Le'Veon Bell reportedly aren't close to an agreement on a long-term contract extension ahead of the July 17 deadline. On Tuesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN noted "both sides have motivations" to get a new deal in place, but the situation "could go either way" when they make a final push in the coming weeks.

Zach Orr Exploring NFL Comeback After Retirement Due to Spine Injury
Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Zach Orr is reportedly exploring an NFL comeback after he announced his retirement in January due to a spinal condition. According to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, Orr is eyeing a return to the gridiron "after receiving more encouraging diagnoses about the congenital spinal condition which initially seemed to doom his NFL career."

Browns offensive line is one of NFL's top units, says Pro Football Focus
The Browns put money into the offensive line following last season. The result is the NFL's highest-paid unit in 2017, according to Spotrac.com, which keeps track of such things. Now, Pro Football Focus has the Browns' offensive line as the second best in the league. PFF's 2017 preseason rankings, which take into account multi-year performance of projected starters, were released on Tuesday. The Eagles are ranked No. 1, followed by the Browns and Steelers.

Random Bytes

Adrian Wojnarowski to start at ESPN on July 1
SI has learned that the NBA’s leading news-breaker—Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports—will join ESPN on July 1, which coincides the date NBA free agents can begin reaching verbal agreements with teams. It’s been an open secret in sports media and NBA circles that Wojnarowski was headed to ESPN from Yahoo, with only his start date remaining unknown. News of his potentially going to ESPN was first reported last February by Kevin Draper, then of Deadspin and now of the New York Times.

Nine reasons why college coaches' pitch for 'baseball rule' in NBA Draft is junk | NBA
Finding a college basketball coach in love with the idea of the NBA adopting the “baseball rule” for eligibility to its annual player draft is about as easy as finding a child who’ll happily eat candy bars for dinner. Some bad ideas sound delightful — until they are implemented.

NFL1000: Ranking the Best Shutdown Cornerbacks
More is expected and demanded of the modern NFL cornerback than at any time in history. It's why the position is more important, and more difficult to play, than ever. There are still those cornerbacks who hang out on the edge most of the time, trailing an opponent's top receiver wherever he goes, making every passing down its own high-level drama.

Kirk Cousins Reportedly Unlikely to Sign Long-Term Redskins Contract
It is reportedly a "long shot" the Washington Redskins and quarterback Kirk Cousins will come to terms on a long-term deal before the July 17 deadline. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the news Tuesday. While Cousins is set to play under the franchise tag for the second consecutive year, Schefter said there is an "improved tone" between the Redskins and their star signal-caller.