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Bengals Bytes (3/25): Nailing free agency so far

The Bengals have really done well during this free agency, but how do they compare to the rest of the NFL?

Buffalo Bills v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Grading Every NFL Team's Free-Agency Performance
It's hard to complain about what the typically conservative Cincinnati Bengals have done to date. The front office swung an uncharacteristic trade with the Bills for left tackle Cordy Glenn, and then went ahead and gambled on tight end Tyler Eifert on a one-year deal. The Bengals replaced McCarron with Matt Barkley and shored up the linebacker room with Preston Brown, who gives them an immediate starter and wiggle room thanks to Vontaze Burfict's unreliability.

Will Marvin Lewis give John Ross a shot in 2018
After a gruesome rookie season for Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross, he should have a chance to prove himself in 2018. Following his impressive NFL combine, the Bengals took Ross with the 9th overall pick in the 2017 draft. It’s been a consistent discussion whether head coach Marvin Lewis even wanted Ross to begin with as he has shown little interest in the young receiver.

Bengals met with Ohio State center Billy Price
Ohio State center Billy Price seems like a typical Cincinnati Bengals pick. That’s not a knock on Price at all — but he could take a fall on draft day in the 2018 NFL draft because of an injury he suffered on the bench press at the combine, meaning he’d be a value pick the Bengals like.

On the job
The NFL meetings convene here Sunday, but two new Bengals assistant coaches beat head coach Marvin Lewis and management to the conference rooms. Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt participated in a three-day symposium ending Saturday that focused on league personnel looking to take the next step as general managers, head coaches and coordinators.

AFC North Bytes

Joe Flacco must snap out of his checkdown tendencies
Quarterback Joe Flacco has been known for his strong arm since the Baltimore Ravens selected him in the first round of the NFL draft in 2008. Given his physical talent, Flacco can make any throw on the field in just about any weather condition. We saw it when he led the Ravens on their championship run in 2012, earning Super Bowl XLVII MVP honors in the process.

Damarious Randall kicks sand at Packers, affirms he’s a safety
New Cleveland Browns defensive back is something of a mystery. After a stellar college career playing safety at Arizona State, he was drafted in the first round by the Green Packers…who promptly moved him to cornerback. He acquitted himself after some growing pains, but his three years in Green Bay didn’t go as well as the Packers, Green Bay fans, or Randall himself had hoped.

Random Bytes

Johnny Manziel 'Tired' of Colin Kaepernick Comparisons: He's 'Changing Lives'
The 25-year-old 2014 first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns also tweeted it's clear Kaepernick has not been signed because of "non-football" reasons, saying, "The guy took a team to the Super Bowl and continuously wreaked havoc on the NFC West and the league." "Standing up for people who often don't get heard and for a race that continually deals with problem after problem in this country for CENTURIES," Manziel also said. "This world we live in is absolutely crazy and I believe what he's doing has an amazing impact."

NFL Free Agents 2018: Predicting This Year's Biggest Duds
NFL free agency is a whirlwind of activity with a new signing seemingly every few minutes when the market first opens. But the most successful teams often stay away from that madness and its potential salary-cap land mines. There are exceptions. The 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars, for example, nearly went to the Super Bowl after adding cornerback A.J. Bouye and defensive end Calais Campbell to an imposing unit. Bouye was part of a dominant top-ranked secondary, and Campbell tied for second in the league with 14.5 sacks.

2018 NFL Mock Draft: Predictions After First Week of Free Agency
After missing out on Kirk Cousins, who signed with the Minnesota Vikings, the New York Jets knew they weren't situated well to obtain their signal-caller of choice with the sixth overall pick. So, general manager Mike Maccagnan orchestrated a deal with the Indianapolis Colts to acquire the third overall selection, and the organization now has a much better opportunity to land an elite field general.