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Bengals Bytes (5/23): Offense moves with an urgency

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The Bengals offense didn’t get it done last year, and you could tell by the way the players performed during the first days of the Bengals OTAs.

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NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Goodberry: Answering Bengals-related Twitter questions with a Batman bonus
The next phase of the NFL offseason begins for the Bengals with OTAs and plenty of questions need to be answered. Readers submitted their questions through Twitter and I answer them here. You know the drill.

Billy Price signs rookie deal with the Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals have gotten first-round pick Billy Price, Ohio State center, under contract as of Monday. The contract is a standard rookie deal of four years through 2021, but being a first-round pick means Cincinnati has the opportunity to make a fifth-year option for 2022 before signing an extension. Hopefully, we will see Price worth that extension as the most recent fifth-year option for tackle Cedric Ogbuehi was declined this offseason.

Carlos Dunlap only player missing from Cincinnati Bengals OTAs
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis downplayed Dunlap’s absence, saying “it’s not a story.” Lewis said he has been in contact with Dunlap but does not know if the nine-year veteran, who is entering the final year of his contract, will attend the mandatory minicamp June 12-14.

Bengals should stay away from Richie Incognito
The Cincinnati Bengals have some question marks on the right side of the offensive line both at guard and tackle, but they should not be interested in former Buffalo Bills guard Richie Incognito. Reports came out earlier this offseason that Incognito wanted to retire and the Bills moved him to their reserved/retired list. Since then, Incognito has expressed his desire to continue playing in the NFL which led to the Bills releasing him this week.

John Ross impressive in Cincinnati Bengals first OTA practice
No one was more fired up for the first practice of OTAs than wide receiver John Ross after his rookie year was washed out by injuries, indecision and ineffectiveness. “It’s something I’ve been waiting for for a long time,” Ross said after Tuesday’s practice in which he was a big part of the offense, catching a lot of passes from both starter Andy Dalton and backup Matt Barkley.

OTA quick hits: No Carlos; Pretty sharp for first day; Ross smooth
It wasn’t exactly Tom Brady being a no-show up in Foxboro, but when Bengals Pro Bowl left end Carlos Dunlap wasn’t on the premises Tuesday for the first of 10 voluntary practices of the spring it looked to be the Bengals’ most high-profile OTA absence since Dunlap was a rookie and wide receiver Chad Ochocinco was filming his dating show in 2010. It’s unknown what Dunlap’s reasons are (he couldn’t be reached for comment via text), but the assumption is he’s in his contract year. So is six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins and he was on Tuesday’s first line. Head coach Marvin Lewis says he’s talked to Dunlap and hasn’t asked him if he’ll be at next month’s mandatory minicamp.

Offense feels the urgency
But, let’s face it. The bulk of this offseason has been about reviving the worst offense in the land and on Tuesday head coach Marvin Lewis offered a limited but anticipated first glance during a session that began what is expected to be nine voluntary practices before mid-June’s mandatory minicamp. Lewis prohibited reporters from saying where his players lined up as offense met the defense for the first time this year, but given the practice went off pretty smoothly despite a new playbook it was pretty clear they were already fairly comfortable where offensive coordinator Bill Lazor put them.

AFC North Bytes

Roethlisberger will "try to help" Rudolph adjust to NFL
Ben Roethlisberger insists he has no problem with the Pittsburgh Steelers drafting Mason Rudolph. That his comments during a radio appearance shortly after the Steelers took the former Oklahoma State star in the third round of the draft — when Roethlisberger openly wondered why the team drafted a quarterback when he plans to be around a good while longer — were made in jest.

Eagles Reportedly Rejected Nick Foles Trade to Browns in Exchange for 35th Pick
The Cleveland Browns revamped their quarterback room this offseason by trading for Tyrod Taylor and drafting Baker Mayfield, but they reportedly had their eyes on a Super Bowl winning signal-caller before being rebuffed. According to Michael Silver of, the Philadelphia Eagles turned down a trade proposal from the Browns in which they would have received the No. 35 pick in this year's draft in exchange for Nick Foles.

Random Bytes

Hunter Henry OTA Knee Injury Diagnosed as Season-Ending Torn ACL
The Chargers will seek a second opinion Wednesday, but the non-contact injury is expected to be season-ending, according to Schefter. Henry set career highs with 45 catches for 579 yards in 2017, although his touchdown total decreased from eight during his rookie season to four this past year. His season ended after 14 games when the Chargers placed him on injured reserve with a kidney laceration in mid-December.

Robert Kraft: Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski Will Report to Patriots Minicamp
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Wednesday that quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski will report to the team's minicamp. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Kraft said Brady is "excited" about being at minicamp. Kraft also said Gronk will show up and that he sounded "confident" in saying so.

NFL Teams Reportedly Discussing 15-Yard Penalty for Kneeling During Anthem
NFL owners are reportedly considering instituting a 15-yard penalty for players who kneel during the national anthem. Albert Breer of NFL Network reported the news. The measure came up during league owner meetings this week in Atlanta.