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Bengals Bytes (2/26): What the Bengals see in Russell Bodine

It seems clear to everyone that Russell Bodine hasn’t been the pillar of consistency during his time with Cincinnati, but that hasn’t stopped the Bengals from saying they intend to re-sign him.

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals Non-Playoff Team Free Agency Targets: Cleveland Browns
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.

What do the Bengals see in Russell Bodine?
After four years and 64 starts, one thing has become very clear: Russell Bodine is not a top center in the NFL. But that hasn’t stopped Cincinnati Bengals Marvin Lewis from saying, “We want to do everything in our power to get Russell back.”

Report: Tyler Eifert cleared for offseason work
Tight end Tyler Eifert is set to become a free agent next month and one of the big questions for any potential suitor is going to be about Eifert’s health. Eifert has played in just 10 games over the last two seasons as he’s dealt with back problems that have necessitated multiple surgeries. He also had a procedure to remove a cyst from his knee after landing on injured reserve last season and dealt with an ankle injury heading into the 2016 season, so there’s plenty of reason for teams to worry about making an investment in Eifert as a free agent.

Bengals' John Ross: Expected back for OTAs
The Bengals believe that Ross (shoulder) will be cleared to resume running routes during the team's offseason program, Geoff Hobson of the Bengals' official site reports.Ross continues to rehab from December surgery to address the damaged labrum of his left shoulder, an injury that spelled an end to a highly disappointing rookie campaign.

John Ross on tough rookie season: 'It's a new year'
After a disappointing rookie campaign, Bengals wideout John Ross' name is re-surfacing prior to next week's NFL Scouting Combine. He became the combine's speed king last year after breaking running back Chris Johnson's record of 4.24 seconds in the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.22 seconds. Several draft prospects are aiming for his record this year but Ross isn't dwelling on it, at all.

TDBH: Bengals deal Big Daddy for first- and third-rounder
The deal that has been brewing for several days is the worst kept secret this side of the Pentagon Papers when disgruntled defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson shows up at Bengals president Mike Brown’s office this morning with agent Jimmy Gould to sign his one-year franchise player tender of $3.2 million. Then in a bizarre signing ceremony, John Hancock puts his signature on the King’s ransom when Wilkinson signs a Washington contract for five years and more than $21 million while it sits on a Bengals’ desk. That’s because before he does, Brown secures a trade for a first-rounder and a third-rounder that is thought to be the first trade involving a free agent designated a franchise player in the five years of free agency.

TDBH: Bengals land first million-dollar CB with free agent Ambrose
In the market for a starting cornerback, the Bengals get their kind of guy in the young, ascending Ashley Ambrose of the Colts tonight when they ink their biggest deal of the three-year free agency system. Ambrose, 25, becomes the franchise’s first $1 million per year corner with a three-year contract in the $5 million neighborhood that pays off at the end of the season when he becomes their first Pro Bowler at that position since Eric Thomas eight years ago. It’s a mutually beneficial deal since Ambrose is looking for playing time after logging just 12 starts since the Colts take him with the first pick of the second round in the 1992 draft. And while he doesn’t start a game last season, he gets more and more snaps as the season progresses and plays well in the nickel package at left corner during Indianapolis’ drive to the AFC championship game.

AFC North Bytes

Browns receive no compensatory picks in 2018 NFL Draft
The Cleveland Browns already own 12 draft picks this year. They won't be adding to that total via compensatory picks. The NFL announced 32 compensatory picks handed out to 15 teams on Friday. A team who loses more or better free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory selections.

Steelers' Antonio Brown receives NFL 101 Awards' AFC offensive player of the year
For the second time in his career, Antonio Brown was honored as the AFC's offensive player of the year at the NFL 101 Awards. The Steelers receiver led the NFL with 1,533 receiving yards despite missing the final 2½ games of the season because of a calf injury. At the time of his regular season-ending injury, Brown had an NFL-high 101 receptions; he also had nine touchdowns.

Random Bytes

What Is the Most Important Combine Event for Each NFL Position?
Many of us will draw way-too-large conclusions about prospects based on their 40-yard dashes, their bench-press results, their 20-yard shuttle and three-cone drill speeds and their totals in the vertical and/or broad jump. Beyond the numbers, people will draw conclusions based on players' performances in position drills and whether their team interviews reportedly went either magnificently or terribly.

The Perfect Prospect at the Scouting Combine for Every NFL Team
The "Underwear Olympics" is almost here. This week the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine gets underway in Indianapolis. From Notre Dame running back Josh Adams to Louisville edge-rusher Trevon Young, over 300 of college football's best and brightest are about to be put through their paces.

Bortles is first, but several 2014 first-round picks will get bigger contracts
When Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles signed with the Jaguars on Saturday, he became the first member of the 2014 class of first-round draft picks to sign a second contract with his team. He won’t be the last. Several first-round picks from 2014 will get even bigger deals on their second contracts. The class of 2014 is heading into its fifth year, and we look below at each of the 2014 first-round picks whose fifth-year options were picked up