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Bengals’ ownership expanding to next generation at NFL annual meeting

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The Brown family’s presence at the latest NFL owners’ meetings shifted to the next generation.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

NFL head coaches, owners and general managers are in Florida this week for the league’s annual March meetings.

Marvin Lewis and Duke Tobin are there representing the Bengals, as are members of the Brown family. But this year, it’s not president/owner Mike Brown in attendance in Orlando, it’s younger members of the family.

According to Bengals.com, Mike Brown didn’t attend the owners meetings this year as he’s recovering from hip surgery. The Cincinnati Enquirer adds that he also recently tore his ACL.

With Mike Brown not attending, a new member of the family joined Katie and Troy Blackburn at the meetings. The Blackburn’s daughter, Elizabeth, who is 24-years-old joined her parents at the meetings this week as an official representative for the Bengals. Elizabeth is among the fourth generation of Bengals ownership stemming from original team founder and coach Paul Brown back in 1968.

Mike’s daughter, Katie Blackburn, the Bengals’ Executive Vice President and her husband Troy, Vice President, have been representing the Bengals at NFL meetings for a while, but this is the first time Elizabeth has officially attended a league meeting.

Mike Brown is currently 82 and turning 83 this summer. And while he’s currently healthy (other than his injury recovery) the addition of Elizabeth at the league meeting signals the family plans to continue its ownership of the team, rather than sell it off as Brown ages.

At the meetings this week, the owners are expected to vote on a number of rule changes. You can follow along with all of that here as it happens.