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Bengals News (7/12): The tailgate must go on

Bengals fans are coordinating a way to tailgate safely once the season begins.

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Tee Higgins learns Madden NFL 21 rating from Chad Johnson - Ochocinco
Earlier, Ochocinco starred alongside Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Young as a Madden 21 "Ratings Adjustor" in a video tweeted in advance of Thursday's Madden 21 Ratings Reveal. Higgins also was featured in the video.

Cincinnati Bengals: 8 players with most to prove during training camp
Zac Taylor and Co. have to prove 2-14 was a fluke. They now have to prove as an organization they’ve turned a corner and that this new era with Joe Burrow and massive free-agent spending can create meaningful change in the win column and when it comes to bringing back fans.

Report: Bengals receiver A.J. Green expected to play under franchise tag
Cincinnati began its offseason by immediately placing the franchise tag on Green. Determined to keep the seven-time Pro Bowler under contract, the Bengals guaranteed he would return for the 2020 season.

Masks, fewer fans expected at Bengals games
"I've got to shave this off, put some face paint on, a big foam hat and I gotta yell. It's time for a little 'Who Dey, baby! Let's go! Who Dey, baby!'" said season ticket holder and superfan Shawn Moore.

10 Bold Predictions for the Bengals' Season in 2020
The Bengals had an abysmal 2019 season, ending the year with only two wins. After an eventful offseason, the reigning worst team in the league will look to improve. Things never go as expected in the NFL, so we take a look at the 10 things that could happen in the Bengals’ season that no one is expecting.

A.J. Green Contract Rumors: Bengals Expect WR to Play 2020 Under Franchise Tag
ESPN's Jeremy Fowler appeared on SportsCenter on Saturday and noted that while Green has yet to sign his franchise tender, the expectation from the team is that he ultimately will:

Bengals special teams unit a major strength heading into 2020 season
Often the most overlooked aspect of the game, special teams can be the difference between a good team and a great team. The Patriots are a great example. Bill Belichick’s special teams unit has finished in the top 10 in 14 of his 20 seasons with New England. The Patriots have finished among the top five in eight of those seasons, including two of the last three years according to SI's Rick Gosselin.

Bengals have a chance to lead NFL with virtual tailgating efforts
The Cincinnati Bengals didn’t deviate much from budding leaguewide trends in messaging to season-ticket holders this week. The team will provide fans with an opt-out, reduce attendance capacity and enforce social distancing and mask usage during games at Paul Brown Stadium.

Around the league

Patriots gain cap space after settling salary cap grievances
Former Pats receiver Antonio Brown was involved in one of those grievances, stemming from his two-week stint with the franchise last season, Rapoport added. After being cut by the team in September due to allegations of sexual misconduct, Brown filed a grievance in October seeking his full $1 million base salary and $9 million signing bonus. Brown will now receive $5 million of his bonus while the other $4 million goes back to the team.

How Chiefs can maximize Patrick Mahomes era; top five NFL players
When Patrick Mahomes tweeted out a video stating that the Chiefs were "chasing a dynasty" shortly after inking the richest contract in American sports history, Chiefs Kingdom rejoiced. The 10-year, $450 million extension -- worth up to $503 million with incentives -- not only rewards the Super Bowl MVP for bringing a title to Kansas City for the first time in 50 years, but it also cements the Chiefs as top-tier contenders for the foreseeable future.

2020 NFL Superstar Club: Lamar Jackson in, Cam Newton out
Step behind our velvet ropes, pass through the fog machine and traverse the dance floor to a luxuriously felted safe space; a bastion for pro football's most elite talent. Yes, The Superstar Club is a meeting ground for the best of the best. It's also a place of exclusivity, an establishment that studies its membership each year -- welcoming in fresh new game changers while politely saying to stars in decline, "Sir, we think you should be leaving now."

Analysts' best career decisions: signing with Jets, joining Lions
LaDainian Tomlinson, running back (San Diego Chargers, 2001-09; New York Jets, 2010-11): In 2009, a lot of people thought I was done after recording a career-low 730 rushing yards for the San Diego Chargers. The following offseason, I knew it was time to leave San Diego and start a new chapter in my career. The best decision I could have made was signing with the New York Jets at that time. I was able to bounce back with a good season. I helped my team get to the AFC Championship Game. I was featured in a national commercial. That season justified my decision to join Rex Ryan and the Jets -- forgoing a deal with Minnesota -- and that was a great feeling.