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Bengals Bytes (3/16): Why Cincinnati should extend Geno Atkins

One of the biggest goals for the Bengals this offseason is to make sure they extend Geno Atkins and keep him from hitting the open market next season.

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Buffalo Bills v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

NFL free agency 2018: Bengals re-sign tight end Tyler Eifert
Tyler Eifert played in just two games in 2017, but the Bengals are willing to give another chance on the former first-round pick. Eifert signed a one-year deal, re-signing with the Bengals, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the deal is worth up to $8 million. The franchise tag for tight ends in 2018 was $9.846 million, so the Bengals saved some money in the deal. The Bengals got just four receptions out of Eifert last season before back and knee problems ended the tight end’s season. It’s nothing new for the 27-year-old, who has played 39 games in his NFL career and missed 41.

NFL free agency: Cincinnati Bengals re-sign tight end Tyler Eifert
The Bengals have gone down this road before. For the last two seasons, they came away frustrated by an inability to finish and sustain drives. Frustrated by an offense that lacked explosion. Frustrated by how much it didn’t look like 2015. Nobody can recreate the 2015 season. Andrew Whitworth, Marvin Jones, Mo Sanu, Kevin Zeitler and Hue Jackson aren’t walking back into the home locker room at Paul Brown Stadium.

Cordy Glenn 'excited' to get started with Cincinnati Bengals
Cordy Glenn said he ended last season feeling like he wasn’t even part of a team when foot and ankle injuries sent him to the Buffalo Bills’ injured reserve list in mid-December. The 6-foot-6, 345-pound left tackle had no idea he would never re-join the Bills, but Glenn is glad the Bengals wanted him.

Broo View: Bengals unusually aggressive during free agency
The Bengals have begun free agency in their typically untypical fash. Only this time it's different... After a year without Andrew Whitworth, the Bengals have realized their mistake. The first road in healing is to admit you made a mistake. And the Bengals made a huge mistake in letting Whitworth walk after last year. We could rehash the whole process. Been there, done that. At least they know now what they did in the wake of Whitworth didn't work.

Bengals importance of signing Atkins immediately
The Cincinnati Bengals have defensive tackle Geno Atkins on the books for one more year under his current contract. Atkins is set to make a total $9,550,000 in 2018 and the team would like to get an extension done with the two time All-Pro before the season begins. Considering some of the names that could be extended or signed to new teams in free agency this offseason the team should move quickly on a deal.

TDBH: Rudi’s contract puts pieces in place for offensive explosion
Hours away from a negotiating blackout with their franchise free agent as yesterday turns into today, the Bengals reach a five-year deal with running back Rudi Johnson that keeps their high-powered offense intact through 2008 with leading receivers Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh teaming up with overall No. 1 pick Carson Palmer heading into his second season as the franchise quarterback. "It's in the players' court now," says Houshmandzadeh, himself fresh off a $3 million per year deal through '08. "We've got beautiful facilities and a great support system. We've got great coaches that know management is committed to winning, and the players see that. I'd be hard pressed to find any player on the team that doesn't believe that."

'I owe them a good year'
When free agency opened this week, the Bengals were sure of only one thing. They were focused on continuing the rehab of their last-in-the-league offense that began with January’s coaching staff shakeup. It turned out they met their biggest need and answered their biggest question. On Thursday when reports surfaced they have an agreement to re-sign erstwhile Pro Bowl tight end Tyler Eifert to a one-year contract, their new investments in the project reached nearly $17 million and they could reach as much as $20 million if Eifert is as healthy as he was when he was a Pro Bowler in 2015.

Huber stays inside the 20 and 275
Never mind that Kevin Huber says he really didn’t get into the details of the Bears’ offer and assumes it was a little bit more because of the market size. Heck, he’s not even the highest-paid NFL player who grew up in Anderson Township on Cincinnati’s eastern edge after he signed the Bengals’ three-year offer to stay home yet again. “Yeah, I was trying to get that,” Huber laughed of the $30 million guarantee Giants guard Andrew Norwell took in Monday’s $66 million deal. “I don’t think we were going to get that done.”

Tyler Eifert's best bet was to return to Cincinnati
Eifert did draw interest on the market, but to what extent is unknown. At least one team was intrigued by his past production but wary of taking a risk on a player who had played only 10 games in the past two seasons. It didn't help that Eifert was coming off consecutive years that ended with him having back surgery and has a long sheet of medical issues that include injuries to his elbow and ankle, among other things.

The Cincinnati Bengals have reached a one-year deal to keep their tight end Tyler Eifert
Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert reached agreement on a one-year deal and is staying in Cincinnati, a league source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. That takes the top available tight end off the board. Eifert, 27, has shown the ability to be a top-tier tight end and a red zone threat when healthy. He made the Pro Bowl in 2015 after playing in 13 games for the Bengals and catching 52 passes for 615 yards and 13 touchdowns.

AFC North Bytes

Michael Crabtree Rumors: FA WR Reportedly to Visit Ravens After Raiders Release
Wide receiver Michael Crabtree is drawing interest in the aftermath of the Oakland Raiders' decision to release him. On Thursday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Crabtree is set to visit the Baltimore Ravens on Friday. Schefter also reported on Crabtree's release before noting Baltimore is interested in the veteran pass-catcher.

Ryan Grant Reportedly Failed Ravens Physical, Contract Voided
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the reported free-agent signee failed a physical Thursday, so the Ravens voided a lucrative $29 million deal that was expected to make him a featured piece of their passing attack. Schefter added the Ravens failed Grant "over an ankle injury that dated back to the Redskins' final regular-season game. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network noted the issue that gave the Ravens pause because the agreement in principle included $14.5 million guaranteed for injury.

Random Bytes

New Orleans Saints, Pelicans Owner Tom Benson Dies at the Age of 90
New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans owner Tom Benson died Thursday at the age of 90, the Saints announced. Benson was hospitalized with the flu at Ochsner Medical Center in Jefferson, Louisiana, Feb. 16. Benson purchased the Saints in 1985, and the franchise reached new heights under his guidance.

What the Hell Are Jon Gruden and the NFL's Raiders Doing Right Now?
We all had a nice little laugh when Jon Gruden talked about bringing football back to 1998. The new head coach of the Oakland Raiders made that comment during his NFL Scouting Combine press conference. He seemed nostalgic for simpler times while referencing the year when his first stint as the Raiders sideline boss began.

NFL Free Agency 2018: Winners, Losers and Ripple Effects of Thursday's Moves
The first full non-tampering day of NFL free agency is basically in the books. And while Thursday was rather quiet compared to the bonkers legal tampering period that preceded it, a few teams made several key moves that could impact the market as well as the dynamics of the 2018 season.