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Bengals News (7/21): Camp Battles

Who will declare victory in the Bengals 2020 training camp battles?

NFL: SEP 30 Bengals at Steelers Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Can The 2020 Burrow Bengals Replicate The 2011 Lockout Lads?
The Bengals 2020 season has already been as jaw-dropping as Paul Brown's new striped helmets, as norm-defying as Chad Ocho Cinco's name change, as Wicky Whacky as a Sam Wyche play call.

Joe Mixon, A.J. Green And Geno Atkins Lead Cincinnati Bengals in Madden NFL 21 Ratings
Mixon earned the top rating at 89 overall, followed by Green and Atkins with an 88 each. Next up were defensive tackle D.J. Reader with an 84 overall rating, followed by wide receiver Tyler Boyd (83), defensive end Carlos Dunlap (82), cornerback William Jackson III (81) and edge rusher Carl Lawson (80).

Bengals show big promise in ESPN’s NFL future power rankings
Those Bengals added Joe Burrow. They’re heading into Year 2 with a new coaching staff. The front office let said coaching staff spend big in free agency.

Predicting the winners of the Bengals' top training camp battles
After months of waiting, training camp is actually upon the football world. For a while, it looked as if it wouldn’t happen, but the NFL is going to give it a go. While a season is still no guarantee, players and coaches alike are currently going about business as if there will be football to play in the fall.

Bengals nab Gregory Rousseau as centerpiece in new 2021 NFL mock draft
The Cincinnati Bengals are a team thinking about a potential transitional year as they break in a new rookie passer and revamped roster after an uncharacteristically active trip to free agency.

Is Sam Hubbard the biggest breakout candidate on the Bengals?
The Cincinnati Bengals have a handful of breakout candidates going into the 2020 season. There’s Jonah Williams at left tackle. Jessie Bates has shown elite potential at safety. John Ross has flashed.

Contract situation settled for this season, Bengals’ Green ‘ready to go’
When A.J. Green spoke last season of the possibility of playing on a franchise tag in 2020, he always acknowledged he would do it but made clear he didn’t like that the Cincinnati Bengals would have the ability to lock him down without a long-term deal.

Bengals' Rodney Anderson plans to kneel during national anthem this season
The 2019 sixth-round draft pick hopes to make an impact on the field in his second season after his rookie campaign was wiped out by an ACL tear in the preseason finale. However, he also wants to stand up for racial injustice and expects he will be among many kneeling for the anthem.

Around the league

Projecting the most improved player for each AFC team in 2020
Each offseason gives NFL teams a chance to adjust and craft new strategies, with those changes often helping to create opportunities for certain players to increase their production in the upcoming campaign. Using my forward-looking data models, I've identified one player from each team who projects to see such an uptick in 2020 based on their performance trajectory and the scheme they'll be playing in this season. Below, I've included a note on one player from each AFC team (listed by division) that helps explain why these guys forecast to grow as contributors. Check back on Tuesday for my NFC picks.

NFL has offered NFLPA zero preseason games in 2020
Following news Monday evening of the NFL's offer for no preseason games, NFLPA assistant executive director of external affairs George Atallah responded with a Twitter thread, stating that the league did not "offer or give up preseason games for us. They had the right to set those (or not) under the CBA already."

Antonio Brown tweets that he is done playing football
Before that "retirement," Brown threatened to quit amid a helmet squabble with the Raiders. Eventually, after coming to peace on the helmet issue, the team granted the receiver his desired release right before the start of the season.

Players will receive daily COVID-19 tests for first two weeks of camp
The news came after a series of prominent players took to social media Sunday to question the league's readiness on health and safety measures for the opening of camps. The frequency of testing had been one of the biggest outstanding issues to be resolved between the league and the players union. Players had pushed for daily testing and one owner said late last week that teams have been told there could be a considerable number of positive tests as players travel from their homes to gather at their team facilities over the next week. But doctors for the league and the union have assured teams that once players get into the protocols and are being tested regularly, the positivity rate should drop.

NFC North training camp preview: Packers aim to repeat; Vikings reload
Most important position battle: Quarterback. An offseason ago, many believed the Bears were en route to becoming a Super Bowl contender -- perhaps only the right kicker away. Alas, Chicago fell from reigning division champ to playoff outsider as its offense sputtered thanks to many factors, with the grizzly's share of blame falling upon much-maligned ex-first-round pick Mitchell Trubisky. So, the Bears pulled off a swap for well-traveled former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, and a battle began that day. Neither has played a full regular season, so numbers suggest each of them will start at some point, as Trubisky looks to jump-start a career that never really got going at a high level and Foles takes one more shot at becoming a franchise QB. Foles (never mind that he went 0-4 for a 6-10 Jaguars team last year) is seen by some as the favorite, but perhaps he will kindle a fire in Trubisky that Matt Nagy's offense has yet to do. Either way, this is one of the most high-profile position battles that lies ahead, not just as it relates to Chicago, but the NFL landscape.