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Bengals Bytes (2/25): John Ross takes blame

John Ross takes the blame for not being able to make it on the field his rookie season.

NFL Draft Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Cincinnati Bengals Non-Playoff Team Free Agency Targets: Houston Texans
The NFL offseason is in full swing, ladies and gentlemen. An exciting Super Bowl ended the 2017 playoffs with a bang only a few ago, but it isn’t long until we see 2018 truly begin. Only a few weeks away is March 14, the beginning of free agency. Now is the time to figure out who is worth pursuing for and from every team in regards to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Bengals should aggressively pursue Bills LB Preston Brown in free agency
The Cincinnati Bengals can’t afford to keep making mistakes at linebacker. Preston Brown makes for quite the guarantee the Bengals don’t have yet another misstep at the position. Hailed as a linebacker expert of sorts, head coach Marvin Lewis hasn’t exactly hit on quality ‘backer after ‘quality ‘backer over his 15 years with the team. He’s now heading into an offseason where it’s a big need.

John Ross deflects blame from Marvin Lewis, owns his rookie mistakes
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross is ready to turn the page and dive into his sophomore year, where the team can only hope he becomes the 2018 version of William Jackson III. For Ross to become the team’s outstanding turnaround story, he’s going to have to get over his miserable rookie season first.

Ross tries to outrun 2017
John Ross became a household name at last year’s NFL scouting combine. Now a year later he’s looking for a change of address as his name begins to get spit out of the heaving hype machine cranked for next week’s Underwear Olympics in Indianapolis. Bonds chasing McGwire. LeBron haunting Michael. Tiger stalking the Golden Bear.

AFC North Bytes

Martavis Bryant Trade Rumors: Bills Tried to Land Steelers WR Last Season
The Buffalo Bills shook up their roster quite a bit in 2017, and they reportedly tried to overhaul their receiving corps when they explored a deal for Pittsburgh Steelers pass-catcher Martavis Bryant. according to's Jeremy Fowler, the Bills "were trying to get involved last year" when Bryant wanted out of Pittsburgh but couldn't offer the compensation the Steelers wanted.

In a contract year, Za’Darius Smith could shine for the Ravens
Selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth round (122nd overall) of the 2015 NFL draft, Za’Darius Smith now enters the fourth and final year of his rookie contract. In his three years in the NFL with the Ravens, Smith has accumulated only 10 sacks. It is worth noting, over half of them came in his rookie year (5.5).

Random Bytes

Doug Marrone, Dave Caldwell, Tom Coughlin Agree to New Jaguars Contracts
The Jacksonville Jaguars signed executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin, general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Doug Marrone to contract extensions through the 2021 season. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network first reported the news Friday. Tad Dickman of Jaguars PR provided a statement from owner Shad Khan about the new deals

Winners and Losers from Blockbuster NFL Trade: Marcus Peters to Rams
Well, that escalated quickly. Less than a week after Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio brought up the possibility of the Kansas City Chiefs trading cornerback Marcus Peters, the organization agreed to a deal Friday to send the two-time Pro Bowler to the Los Angeles Rams, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Blake Bortles, Jaguars Agree to 3-Year, $54M Contract Extension
The Jacksonville Jaguars and quarterback Blake Bortles agreed to terms on a three-year, $54 million contract extension Saturday, the team announced.ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported the deal. The deal could be worth up to $66.5 million thanks to various incentives and includes $26.5 million guaranteed.