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Bengals News (1/20): Top of the class

The Bengals have some of the top free agents entering the 2021 free agency class.

New York Giants v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Misdemeanor battery charge vs. Cincinnati Bengals' Mackensie Alexander dismissed
Alexander was arrested in August after he left Bengals training camp following the disappearance of his father while picking berries with a family friend. According to the arrest report, Alexander allegedly went to a man's house to discuss the incident, hit him and caused minor injuries.

Report: Former Cowboys RBs coach Gary Brown to interview with Bengals
Former Dallas Cowboys running backs coach Gary Brown is expected to interview next week with the Cincinnati Bengals, according to a report via Twitter Tuesday by NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

Insiders are split on how the Bengals will attack 2021 free agency
The orange and black faithful haven’t hidden their feelings on their preferred course of action. The fan base is resoundingly in favor of signing a big fish free-agent offensive lineman, such as Joe Thuney or Brandon Scherff. Not so fast though, according to Bengals legend Dave Lapham.

Cincinnati Bengals land three players on ESPN’s top 50 free agents
Those three names — Carl Lawson, William Jackson and A.J. Green — just earned spots on a free agency top 50 list by ESPN’s Kevin Seifert. Interestingly, the list has Green as the No. 22 free agent outright, while Jackson checks in at No. 40. Carl Lawson slots at No. 46 with the following explanation:

Around the league

Four teams that should pursue Texans QB Deshaun Watson
Coming off a career season that was waylaid by Houston's 4-12 record, Watson was "extremely unhappy" (per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport) that the organization failed to involve him in the process that led to the hiring of general manager Nick Caserio, after owner Cal McNair promising Watson would play a role in the decision. While McNair has since said he wants Watson to participate in the search for a new head coach, speculation about Watson's potential exit from Houston has arisen, with other teams calling the Texans to gauge Watson's availability.

Doug Pederson 'leaning toward' taking 2021 off from coaching
Pederson's run in Philly ended in turmoil, mostly over his handling of Carson Wentz, perceived feelings about the QB, and disagreements with management. When a Super Bowl win and making the playoff three times in five seasons can't overcome the issues, its apparent problems were deep.

Jaguars set to hire Trent Baalke as general manager
Baalke, 56, has been in Jacksonville for nearly a year, joining the team's front office as director of pro personnel in early February and working under general manager Dave Caldwell. Caldwell was shown the door at the end of November following Jacksonville's 10th straight loss, and the team promoted Baalke to interim general manager to take Caldwell's place.

Aaron Rodgers: Packers' Week 6 loss to Bucs 'matters just about as much' as T.B.'s loss to Saints
Despite the shellacking at the hands of their NFC Championship opponent, Rodgers told Pat McAfee on Tuesday that the loss to the Bucs is meaningless. As his evidence, the Packers QB pointed out that Tampa had gotten pounded by the Saints in their final regular-season game, which didn't stop them from beating Drew Brees and the Saints last Sunday night in New Orleans.