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Bengals Bytes (2/11): Wish list for free agency

Who should the Bengals be hoping they can get on their squad next season?

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Green Bay Packers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

What Can the Bengals do to Become a Contender in 2018?
All indications are that the Bengals could finally be players in free agency this year. As a Bengals fan, however, I will believe it when I see it. We saw the Eagles become almost overnight contenders with a great free agent period last year and a solid draft. The question is, can the Bengals do the same thing? The Bengals will probably not go the route of signing big name free agents, but let’s take a look at who the Bengals could sign and re-sign.

Cincinnati Bengals Playoff Team Free Agency Targets: Minnesota Vikings
The Cincinnati Bengals fell short of the playoffs this past season, not qualifying as one of the six teams from the AFC. However, that’s not a trend that Marvin Lewis and company intend to keep up. As such, it’s time to look at how they can build this offseason, specifically in 2018 free agency. And a great place to look is at the playoff teams from this past season and who will be available. We’ve already covered a player on each of the following teams: the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Carolina Panthers, Los Angeles Rams, Atlanta Falcons, Tennessee Titans, New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Jacksonville Jaguars.

Cincinnati Bengals offseason wish list for fantasy | Fantasy Analysis
In 2017, for the second straight year, the Cincinnati Bengals finished below .500 and missed the playoffs by going 7-9. Despite the recent struggles, head coach Marvin Lewis received a two-year extension. Lewis has been at the helm for the Bengals the past 15 seasons and has gone 0-7 in playoff games during that span. Bill Lazor was also retained as the offensive coordinator after he took over in mid-September for Ken Zampese, who was fired. The Bengals averaged just 18.1 points per game (26th in the league). They scored 14 or fewer points six times and only went over 24 points in four contests. They got some production out of rookie running back Joe Mixon, but first-round wide receiver John Ross was a non-factor during his first season.

Bengals cheerleader and husband launch golf cart transit
An entrepreneurial Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader and her husband have teed off on a new way of getting around the city's downtown: Golf carts. GEST Carts offers rides on weekend nights to attractions such as riverfront restaurants, a casino and other entertainment spots. Co-founders Patrick and Lauren Dye have rolled out the service slowly, with plans to expand in time for Cincinnati's popular Opening Day festivities next month when the Reds begin baseball season.

BX: Setting the table for the Cincinnati Bengals in free agency
The close of Super Bowl LII officially turned the NFL to 2018, even if the new league year doesn’t begin until 4 p.m. on March 14. The NFL Scouting Combine runs from Feb. 27 through March 5 in Indianapolis, but the first big part of the offseason is free agency. While Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis indicated in his re-introductory press conference in January that the club needed to be more effective in unrestricted free agency, early indications are the Bengals may not be as active in that market as one would think.

TDBH: NFL upholds Burfict’s three-game suspension
Despite Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther and several players believing linebacker Vontaze Burfict did the best he could to avoid drilling Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown in the head on the final scrimmage play of last month’s controversial Wild Card Game, the NFL today upholds Burfict’s three-game suspension imposed by commissioner Roger Goodell. The unsuccessful appeal is heard by Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks and now he’ll miss the first three games of the upcoming season. The league also confirms Burfict meets with Goodell in New York today, but it is unrelated to the suspension for what is ruled as repeated violations of the player safety guidelines.

AFC North Bytes

Christian Kirksey shows off his offseason workout regimen
Want to know how NFL players stay in such optimal physical condition during the offseason? Cleveland Browns linebacker Christian Kirksey gave a glimpse of one morning of his workouts on social media. It’s not what you might expect, such as weightlifting in a gym or working on wind sprints.

Steelers sign Nix to new four-year deal
The Steelers have signed fullback Roosevelt Nix to a new four-year deal with the franchise through the 2021 season, the team announced on Saturday. Financial terms of the new contract were not disclosed. Nix was named to the 2018 Pro Bowl after leading the way for Steelers’ running back Le’Veon Bell who finished third in league rushing (1,291 yards) and tied for third in rushing touchdowns (12)in 2017. He finished the 2017 season with one rushing and receiving touchdown, along with 10 special team’s tackles

Random Bytes

The NFL's Best Under-the-Radar Free Agents in 2018
The best NFL free-agent signings aren't always the ones you expect. Look at the Philadelphia Eagles, who just finished their first Super Bowl parade. Yes, they paid Alshon Jeffery a boatload of money to become their No. 1 receiver, but it was the less-heralded acquisitions that really put the Eagles over the top.

Kyle Shanahan: Bill Belichick Rejected 49ers' 1st Jimmy Garoppolo Trade Attempt
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said Friday that New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was unwilling to trade quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo the first time he was approached with the idea. Shanahan told Albert Breer of The MMQB that he first brought up the idea of trading for Garoppolo to Belichick at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine: "I remember asking Bill personally down at the combine about Jimmy, and very quickly he told me that wasn't a possibility. So we moved on from that. He told me he wasn't going to trade him."

Report: Vikings Denied Kevin Stefanski's Interview for Giants OC Opening
The Minnesota Vikings have reportedly blocked the New York Giants from poaching one of their assistants. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Vikings denied the Giants permission to interview quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski for their offensive coordinator vacancy.