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Bengals Bytes (2/12): Should Cincinnati be looking to make a deal?

The Bengals vowed to be more aggressive this offseason in free agency, but maybe they should look to make a trade to help get them over the edge.

New York Jets v Denver Broncos Photo by Rob Leiter/Getty Images

William Jackson’s epic first year illustrated is something Bengals fans will want to see
Cornerback William Jackson III’s elite first year on the field for the Cincinnati Bengals is a common topic around here. In what amounted to his rookie year, WJ3 fought his way on to the field and eventually fought head to head with guys like Antonio Brown, shutting them down in the process.

Jeremy Hill fires back at critics on Twitter
Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill heads to free agency this offseason with an unknown future destination. Hill, only 25 years old, fell out of favor with the Bengals at the same time the offense as a whole fell apart and helped produce consecutive losing seasons.

The Bengals should trade for Emmanuel Sanders
The Bengals have a lot of work to do this offseason. They need to upgrade at multiple positions, including offensive line. One spot that many will overlook is wide receiver. Who is the Bengals number two wide receiver? They don’t have one. That’s why they should consider trading for Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders.

McCarron ruling expected this week
The AJ McCarron decision is due by Thursday, but no matter how the arbitrator rules the Bengals are keeping all their options on the table and among them is keeping their coveted backup quarterback of the last three seasons. McCarron has made his case in the hopes of being categorized as an unrestricted free agent. If he’s ruled as a restricted free agent, the Bengals would be able tender him a one-year contract offer in order to reserve the right to match any offer when free agency starts March 14.

AFC North Bytes

McCort grad Bradley named defensive backs coach for Steelers
radley, 61, replaces Carnell Lake, who stepped down Wednesday to spend more time with his family. “I want to thank coach (Mike) Tomlin and the entire Steelers organization for this opportunity,” Bradley told “I am excited to be a part of such a rich tradition here. We have a great nucleus in the defensive backs room, and my goal is to help this group continue to grow and develop as we all work toward one goal.”

Pilot Flying J fraud case heads to jury; what does it mean for Jimmy Haslam?
The crux of the matter, according to Jamie Satterfield of the Knoxville News-Sentinel, who spoke with Nashville Public Radio on Friday, is that, “the direct sales team at Pilot Flying J would lure smaller trucking companies in, in return for promises of discounts or rebates on their fuel purchases. Pilot would say, ‘Well, we’ll shave six pennies off the gallon for you.’ But [the companies] were actually being paid two cents or three cents. And of course they weren’t told.” The result was 14 former executives pleading guilty to various charges as well as the current trial, in which four former Pilot Flying J employees now have their fates in the jury’s hands, having been charged with mail and wire fraud.

Random Bytes

The Most Important Schemes and Concepts in the NFL Today
The ability to create and disrupt explosive plays with schematic and personnel variation is more important now than at any other time in NFL history. Offenses and defenses are more complex than they've ever been. Players are faster, stronger and smarter. Teams substitute waves of players for specific probabilities and substitute them right back out again for another probability.

Reuben Foster of San Francisco 49ers arrested again; bail set at $75,000
For the second time in less than a month, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster has been arrested. The Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police confirmed Sunday night that Foster was arrested earlier in the day on charges related to domestic violence, threats and possession of an assault weapon.

Matt Miller's Scouting Notebook: Will Josh McDaniels' Move Shake Up 2018 Draft?
There are few dull moments in the life of an NFL draft analyst. Last week, it was the Alex Smith trade that sent ripples through the league and caused a shake-up in mock drafts and offseason planning. This week, it's the decision by Josh McDaniels to go back on his word in the final hours before he was to be announced as the new head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.