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Bengals News (5/27): Plenty of space ahead

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A look at the Bengals cap space in 2021 leaves plenty of optimism.

NFL: FEB 27 Scouting Combine Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

NFL owners will vote on 4th-and-15 attempt replacing onside kicks
But since the NFL's most-tenured special teams coordinator resides at Paul Brown Stadium you can be sure one of the oldest gadgets in the game remains in the Bengals' arsenal even as the NFL mulls a trial run that would replace it up to twice a game this season.

How the revamped Browns match up with the Bengals in 2020
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Bengals finished the 2019 season with the worst record in the NFL, bad enough to earn the No. 1 pick and the chance to draft their quarterback of the future. They also offered the final blow to the tenures of former Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens and general manager John Dorsey by beating the Browns in the season finale in Cincinnati.

Larry Warford: Bengals could upgrade offensive line via free agency
So is there anything the Bengals could still do to make Joe Burrow's rookie year a little less 5-11ish? The list of players who remain unsigned - not including quarterbacks or former Bengals like Dennard and Kirkpatrick who likely aren't candidates - include the following:

Bengals: Sooner things get back to normal the better for remade roster
“The sources told Yahoo Sports that if coaches resume their in-house work next week, minicamps including players could be scheduled as early as June 15 or as late as June 27, depending on COVID-19 data and whether a handful of franchises get a “go ahead” signal from state governments to resume full operations.”

Two former Bengals make list of big names who remain unsigned late in NFL's odd offseason
Even with the status of the upcoming season uncertain because of the coronavirus pandemic, teams continue to tinker with their rosters by adding players they hope will help them win — whenever or if they actually play.

Cincinnati Bengals roster: Projected starters on defense
Projecting actual starters is tricky because fading terms like “starters” and “base defense” don’t mean much anymore compared to who plays the most snaps. Below, we’ll project on-paper starters based on the multiple front.

Bengals’ cap space outlook for 2021 seems great
Now is a good time to start turning eyes to 2021 too given the activity so far. At Over The Cap, Jason Fitzgerald provided a quick look at projected cap health for 2021 and came up with roughly $75 million in free space for the Bengals by next offseason.

Around the league

2020 All-Under-25 Team: Patrick Mahomes heads NFL's rising stars
Who are the most promising rising stars in the NFL? Marc Sessler compiled a roster of the top players under 25 years old heading into the 2020 season.

Jay Gruden knows it's his job to 'mesh' with Gardner Minshew
While the five straight defeats were the period to Gruden's sentence as the Redskins' coach, there were also concerns with the progression or lack of from first-round pick Dwayne Haskins, who never got a start under Gruden. Meanwhile, down in Jacksonville, the Jaguars were struggling as well, but rookie sixth-rounder Gardner Minshew's arm and mustache were providing hope.

Lions planning to move CB Jamal Agnew to receiver
News of Agnew joining virtual WR meetings this offseason was first noted by Peter King in his Football Morning In America column earlier this week. Birkett clarified that Agnew has been attending meetings for both receivers and cornerbacks this offseason, but the plan is for him to join the offense when football activities resume.

Minkah Fitzpatrick eyes expanded role in second year in Pittsburgh
"I think last year, coming in at the time I did, I didn't know the playbook as well as I do now," Fitzpatrick said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "The coaches wanted to keep it simple for me, and they did. I appreciated that. Now, if the coaches want me to move around, I'll move around. If they don't, then I don't need to. I'm trying to learn the system and get it down to a 'T,' just in case if they ask me to move, I can move."

Texans' game plan after DeAndre Hopkins trade? Spread the wealth
Hopkins was traded to the Arizona Cardinals as free agency began. More than one Texans teammate told me after the deal went down that Hopkins "put the team on his back" many times over the last few seasons. It's extremely difficult for any player other than a quarterback -- and especially so for a receiver -- to carry a team, but it's hard to argue Nuk didn't. During his seven-year tenure in Houston, Hopkins played with a carousel of quarterbacks, was still absolutely dominant, and the team won the AFC South four of the last five years. If anyone closely examines the roster that surrounded Hopkins while he was putting up ridiculous numbers, year in and year out, it's hard to argue he's not the best receiver in the game today.