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Bengals Bytes (3/19): Jeremy Hill was a bargain for the Patriots

It was somewhat surprising to see Jeremy Hill sign so fast, but after seeing his contract it was clear that he was the bargain the Patriots were looking for.

Cincinnati Bengals v Washington Redskins Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

New England Patriots have limited financial risk in Jeremy Hill
Hill's total compensation is $1.5 million, and the only guarantee is his $150,000 signing bonus. If he makes the roster, he will earn a base salary of $1 million, and then can earn an additional $300,000 in roster bonuses ($18,750 per game if on the 46-man, game-day roster). Hill can also earn a $50,000 workout bonus.

Matt Barkley sees offensive similarities between Bengals, Eagles
The Cincinnati Bengals signed quarterback Matt Barkley in free agency as a means to replace AJ McCarron — with his connection to offensive coordinator Bill Lazor during their time together with the Philadelphia Eagles as a major selling point. Upon arrival in Cincinnati, Barkley stressed he sees similar things from both the Bengals and Eagles.

Why Jordan Willis will be the team's 2018 Breakout Player
Jordan Willis is an explosive athlete who will get his chance to shine while setting the edge for the Cincinnati Bengals. The defensive end had the second-best SPARQ score among edge defenders at the 2017 scouting combine behind only Myles Garrett, who was selected first overall by the Cleveland Browns. Willis had to wait until the third round to hear his name, mostly due to some concerns about his ability to contribute as a run defender early.

Bengals reportedly ‘doubtful’ to make any cuts before 2018 NFL draft
The Cincinnati Bengals didn’t see themselves spending so much cap space this offseason, which lends credibility to the theory a few players could be cap casualties via cuts. Not that the Bengals can complain about spending more than they expected, though. A trade with the Buffalo Bills for a starting left tackle in Cordy Glenn materialized, provided the team ate his salary. Getting tight end Tyler Eifert back on a one-year deal gobbled up more cap.

Bengals free-agent center Russell Bodine visiting with Bills
The friendship between the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills isn’t close to ending, not upon learning of Russell Bodine’s visit to the Bills. Despite a somewhat-odd attachment to the struggling center, the Bengals haven’t nailed down a new deal for Bodine, a guy they traded up for in the 2014 draft’s fourth round.

Steelers JuJu Smith-Schuster chirps over Vontaze Burfict appeal story
JuJu Smith-Schuster won't be blamed for Vontaze Burfict's four-game suspension for violation of the league's performance-enhancing-drugs policy. On appeal, the Cincinnati Bengals linebacker is expected to argue he was prescribed medication for dealing with a vicious open-field hit from the Pittsburgh Steelers receiver in Week 13, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

TDBH: Bengals get the Full Nelson with a four-year deal
In what will turn out to be one of the more significant deals in the Green-Dalton Era, the Bengals secure the services of starter Reggie Nelson with the biggest safety deal of free agency and over the next four years he’ll become a Big Ben Killer with six interceptions of the Steelers quarterback. After coming to Cincinnati in a 2010 pre-season trade that sent back-up cornerback David Jones and a seventh-round pick to Jacksonville, Nelson, 28, the Jags’ former No. 1 pick, revives his career in Cincinnati in defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer's scheme.

AFC North Bytes

Matthew Judon among league’s most efficient pass rushers
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Matthew Judon truly came into his own in the 2017 season. Following an encouraging rookie campaign where he notched four sacks in limited playing time, Judon followed up with a breakout sophomore season in which he was one of the league’s best sack artists.

Steelers agree to terms with Bostic
Bostic played for the Indianapolis Colts in 2017 and had 97 tackles and one sack last season, before suffering a season-ending knee injury late in the year and being placed on injured reserve. He was leading the Colts in tackles prior to his injury.

Random Bytes

Every NFL Team's Smartest Offseason Decision so Far
The start of free agency brought a flurry of previously agreed to deals and surprise transactions across the NFL. There were unexpected trades and failed free-agent plans, forcing teams to pivot to other strategies. Now that the first wave of talent is mostly off the board, it's a good time to look at every team's smartest free-agency decision so far.

2018 NFL Free Agents: Hidden Gems Still on the Market
Though big names such as DeMarco Murray and Ndamukong Suh remain on the open market as the first week of free agency comes to a close, we're now entering the time frame when teams start looking for gems. Gems, meaning low-cost players with big upside who will perform well in the right situation. Think Case Keenum's one-year deal before leading the Minnesota Vikings to the playoffs. Or Alshon Jeffery's one-year deal he outplayed, earning an extension and a Lombardi Trophy.

Ndamukong Suh to Visit Rams Amid Cowboys, Seahawks, Saints Rumors
The Los Angeles Rams reportedly have five-time Pro Bowler Ndamukong Suh on their radar. According to Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports, the defensive tackle said he plans on visiting the Rams as he searches for his next team following the Miami Dolphins' decision to release him.