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Bengals News (2/19): How to start a turnaround in Cincinnati

Five moves to get the Bengals headed in the right direction this offseason.

Cincinnati Bengals v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

How Joe Burrow positively transformed the entire Athens, Ohio community with his speech at the Heisman Trophy ceremony.
Joe Burrow uttered the words halfway through his Heisman Trophy acceptance speech, which, much like his senior season as Louisiana State's record-breaking quarterback, had been passionate, poised and uncannily accurate. The mayor of his hometown, Steve Patterson, says it is 32 seconds that have tilted the landscape from bleak to hope.

Five 2020 offseason moves for Bengals
Franchise A.J. Green. While injuries are a concern for Green (he has played just nine games over the past two seasons), the Bengals can't just let him leave. A healthy Green is too valuable and productive to let him move on, and Cincinnati isn't the sort of team to dip into free agency to replace its 2011 first-round pick.

Is Joe Burrow Already Trying to Break Up With the Bengals?
Ever since Cincinnati locked up the no. 1 pick in 2020, the draft-media-industrial complex has agreed that the Bengals would draft the Heisman Trophy–winning Ohioan quarterback Joe Burrow. But Burrow might have other plans, and the only thing we knew about the 2020 draft may not be so. On Monday, Burrow walked a tightrope with his answers to repeated questions from Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about whether he wanted to play for the Bengals.

Cincinnati Bengals Past and Present Respond to National Media Criticism
The front office presumptively has their eyes firmly locked on Joe Burrow after he put on display one of the best single-season performances in the history of college football. However, some national pundits have fed into a storyline that Burrow is against returning home to Ohio.

2020 NFL draft: Breaking down a fresh Bengals 4-round mock draft
Mock draft season is alive and well ahead of the combine, though the only mocks that might interest Cincinnati Bengals fans are ones that go past the first round.

The Perfect Free Agent Linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals
The linebacker class for the 2020 draft is shaping up to be solid. However, things become unpredictable when April rolls around, so it would be wise for Bengals decision-makers to address the unit through free agency.

Around the league

2020 NFL franchise/transition tag primer: No-brainer candidates?
That looms large in cities like Dallas, Tampa and Nashville, where there are multiple strong tag options. While using the franchise tag nearly guarantees a player staying put for at least one more season, the transition tag provides teams the ability to match any offer a player can find on the open market. The risk of losing someone on the transition tag is high, which will only put more pressure on these teams to work out long-term deals in the coming weeks with at least one star. In other words: If the Cowboys can't get a deal done with Dak Prescott sooner than later, they may have to accept the real chance they will lose Prescott's top target.

Former Panthers TE Greg Olsen signs with Seahawks
Olsen's free-agent tour, which included stops in Washington, D.C., Washington state (Seattle), Buffalo and the broadcast booth at MetLife Stadium for XFL television coverage, came to an end after his visit with the Seahawks. Pete Carroll's team ultimately landed the tight end on a deal that includes $5.5 million in guarantees, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

Kyle Long on retiring: I wasn't able to hold up my end
"I had an incredible journey and experience in the NFL," Long said Tuesday on NFL Total Access. "It was like nothing I've ever done before. Met great people, done amazing things, but at the end of the day I wasn't able to hold up my end of the bargain as a football player. When you sign a contract and they say we're gonna give you X-amount of dollars, you gotta do your job and I wasn't able to be healthy enough and to perform my job well enough to protect Trubisky and get the running backs through the holes."

MRI nets positive results for QB Joe Flacco (neck)
Flacco, whose first and thus far only season with the Broncos ended with a trip to injured reserve due to a neck injury, underwent an MRI last week and found positive results, according to's Mike Klis on Tuesday. Through Klis, Flacco's agent Joe Linta said a second opinion from a spine specialist is being sought.

Nigel Bradham set for FA after Eagles decline option
An eight-year veteran, Bradham has spent the last four seasons in Philadelphia, winning a Super Bowl during the 2017 season. He's recorded 348 tackles, 5.0 sacks, 22 passes defended, two interceptions and three forced fumbles in his four seasons, playing 58 of a possible 64 games.

Drew Brees will be back with Saints for 2020 season
As is the case for most anyone mulling a potentially life-changing decision, Brees and Saints coach Sean Payton were both adamant about the importance of a cool-off period after New Orleans' surprise early postseason exit. Brees needed time to decompress and evaluate his priorities at 41 years old.