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Bengals News (3/24): No leverage

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Cincinnati has very few options left with what to do with Andy Dalton at this point.

Cincinnati Bengals v Miami Dolphins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Bengals defensive tackle D.J. Reader is excited about his opportunity in Cincinnati
Who isn't nowadays? He has agreed to a contract with the Bengals but isn't officially a member of the team. He'll sign with them when he passes a physical, but when in the name of J.J. Watt is that going to be?

Bengals Re-Sign Torry McTyer
McTyer, a fourth-year player in 2020, joined the Bengals as a free agent in September last season, and went on to play in five games and record two tackles. He originally was a college free agent signee of Miami in 2017, and was with the Dolphins through the '19 preseason.

Prepping for Joe Burrow: Spending spree signals potential shift with Bengals
During the first week of free agency, the Bengals spent the type of money that could reassure skeptics, even a No. 1 draft pick, that things might be changing in Cincinnati. The franchise went out of character and spent $95 million combined on deals for defensive tackle D.J. Reader and outside cornerback Trae Waynes. Before last week, Cincinnati had not committed more than $26 million to a single free agent since 2015, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

Bengals have backed themselves into a corner with Dalton by misplaying hand
With news over the weekend from New England Patriots reporter Jeff Howe that the Patriots are not interested in Dalton it has left the Bengals with basically two options left for what to do with the veteran quarterback:

Peter King: Patriots could sign Andy Dalton after he's released
I keep hearing no one will trade for Andy Dalton and pay him $17 million this year in the last year of his deal. If he’s on the street, Dalton at $7 million for a year in New England makes the most sense to me. Hard to see Dalton going unloved, but he fits New England either short or long-term the best. I still expect the Patriots, after signing Brian Hoyer on Sunday, to look into signing a veteran.

NFL draft changes alter likely beginning of Joe Burrow-Bengals era
Instead of an event on the Las Vegas strip featuring boats at the Bellagio’s famed fountains, the festivities will happen from a live studio setting, according to Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times. The April 23-25 event will be broadcast from a studio setting, Farmer reported, with cuts to individual team headquarters for picks.

Bengals updated free-agent target list heading into Week 2
It wouldn’t surprise many if the Cincinnati Bengals were done in the 2020 edition of NFL free agency. And that’s not said with sarcasm this year — not after spending huge money on names like D.J. Reader and Trae Waynes.

Around the league

2020 NFL free agency's best contracts: Cousins extension smart
Kirk Cousins, quarterback, Minnesota Vikings: It was only a few years ago that folks were chortling over the Vikings' decision to pay Cousins $30 million per year. By the time he gets to the end of the extension he agreed to as this year's free agency period kicked off, the Vikings could be seen as forward-thinking. I like the new two-year, $66 million deal, which is set to go through the 2022 season, for a few reasons. It opens up $10 million in cap space while only adding one additional guaranteed year for Cousins. (The Vikings could get out of the contract after the 2021 season if they wanted.) It also prevents a scenario like the Redskins once faced with Cousins, who was constantly asked about his future with Washington over three consecutive contract years from 2015 to '17, thanks to that team's repeated use of the franchise tag. Minnesota decisively believes that Cousins is a franchise quarterback, so it's better for the Vikings to make a move now rather than wind up paying much more later, like the Cowboys will with Dak Prescott, who had to be tagged this year after reaching the end of his rookie deal without an extension. By the time Cousins reaches the end of this deal, it won't be a surprise if he's outside the top 10 in quarterback salaries.

Cowboys C Travis Frederick retiring after 7 seasons
"Travis Frederick, by the nature of his center position, was the core piece of what I believe to be one of the most talented and skilled NFL offensive lines that has been assembled," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement.

Incentives can push Mariota-Raiders deal to $37.5M
Mariota signed a two-year, $17.6 million deal that includes $7.5 million in the first year as a fully guaranteed base salary, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported Monday. The initial detail of his contract isn't all that intriguing, but the incentives and escalators, a "mountain" of them as NFL Network's Tom Pelissero tweeted, stand to potentially pay Mariota as much as $37.5 million.

Dion Lewis signing one-year deal with Giants
Lewis was released by Tennessee earlier this month after failing to live up to the other half of a thunder-and-lightning backfield with Derrick Henry, who was franchise tagged last week. The diminutive running back carried the ball just 54 times in 2019 for an average of 3.9 yards per carry and was used even less in the passing game, tallying 25 receptions for 164 yards in an offense that became increasingly reliant upon Henry.

Panthers trade QB Kyle Allen to Redskins
The 24-year-old started 12 games in 2019 in place of an injured Cam Newton, completing 62 percent of 489 attempts for 3,322 yards, 6.8 yards per attempt, with 17 touchdowns, 16 interceptions for an 80.0 passer rating, and took 46 sacks in 13 appearances. After a solid start under Allen, the young signal-caller faltered down the stretch as the Panthers' season sunk.

Rams begin new chapter with updated L.A. logo
The franchise has been based in Los Angeles since 2016, returning after spending 22 years in St. Louis, but waited until it shifted from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to SoFi Stadium to introduce a sharp, new look. Those in charge of the new logos had an difficult task ahead of them: Create a logo with the potential to become universally known while also using "L.A." -- two letters also used by the Los Angeles Dodgers' iconic, interlocking LA logo worn on the front of their caps -- to signify that this team is rooted in Los Angeles. The Rams elected to incorporate a Ram horn their logo, with it flowing out of the top of the A and wrapping between the two letters to create a modern standard icon with the potential to implement different mixes of the team's primary colors depending on use.