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Bengals News (3/24): Apple a day

The Bengals really made a point to upgrade their depth at corner this offseason.

New Orleans Saints v Tennessee Titans Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Bengals hoping for a resurgence from cornerback Eli Apple
That's what the Bengals did Tuesday when they inked Eli Apple to one of those nothing-to-lose-for-either-party-one-year-deals. They hope a reunion with former Ohio State teammates Vonn Bell and Sam Hubbard along with Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, his secondary coach in 2018 with the Giants when a mid-season trade sent Apple to the Saints, can be exactly what he needs on his fourth team in the last three years.

Bengals safety Jessie Bates III looking to step into a leadership role for 2021
That's why Bates is coordinating an effort with fellow safety Vonn Bell to connect the new secondary with texts and tips. After cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie and Mike Hilton signed on the line last week, Bates reached out to Bengals video director Travis Brammer to send iPads equipped with X and O video to the defensive backs while Bell made sure they stayed in touch with the four new defensive starters and anyone else via a group chat.

Another Bengals spending spree points to a make-or-break year in 2021
Of course, for that to happen, it requires a team to be ambitious and take on some risks. When the Bengals had the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft, pundits wondered if they had either attribute as they prepared to select quarterback Joe Burrow.

Ryan Kerrigan visiting Bengals
The 32-year-old Kerrigan has spent his entire 10-year career in Washington, which drafted him in the first round in 2011. A new contract with Washington remains a possibility in addition to Cincinnati.

Ryan Kerrigan to visit Bengals, per report, Washington still has interest in keeping its all-time sack leader
Ryan Kerrigan's free agency will take him to Cincinnati. Washington's all-time sack leader is slated to meet with the Bengals on Wednesday, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The Football Team also has interest in retaining Kerrigan, according to Rapoport.

Bengals steal another potential Steelers secondary depth target
Give the Bengals credit, they’re try their best to surround Joe Burrow with talent, albeit on the defensive side of the ball. After signing one of the best slot cornerbacks in all of football in former Pittsburgh Steelers CB Mike Hilton, the Bengals are now bringing in another corner who could’ve been heading to their AFC North rival.

Cornerback Darius Phillips Unhappy With Latest Cincinnati Bengals' Signing in Free Agency
CINCINNATI — The Bengals signed cornerback Eli Apple to a one-year deal on Tuesday. He's the fourth veteran defensive back they've signed in the past week, which includes retaining primary special teamer Tony Brown.

Analyst Hates Idea of Cincinnati Bengals Drafting Kyle Pitts With Fifth Pick
"No, absolutely not. Give me Penei Sewell," Orlovsky said on NFL Live. "When I called Florida games last year I said he was the second-best player in college football outside of Trevor Lawrence. He is absolutely spectacular. Joe Burrow took the third-most sacks in the NFL last year and he only played 10 games. I know they took Jonah (Williams) and I know they signed Riley Reiff. This pick should be about the Cincinnati Bengals nine years from now. What is the best situation for your quarterback to play long term? Kyle Pitts is remarkable, but keeping him (Burrow) protected and clean is your number one priority. Not two, not three, not four—it's number one. And if you fail to do that this draft, everybody's fired."

Around the league

NFL Power Rankings: Browns, Patriots up in free agency; Bears slip
NFL.com has a handy file tracking all the arrivals and departures for each team, and it's pretty crazy to see how much player movement we get every year in the NFL. The churn is constant, my friends. The churn is everywhere.

Deshaun Watson facing 16 lawsuits in Texas; QB's attorney releases statement
The lawyer for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson said that he believes that "any allegation that Deshaun forced a woman to commit a sexual act is completely false" in a Tuesday statement that also included a declaration on behalf of Watson claiming one of the believed plaintiffs in question previously tried to extort him.

Dolphins WR Will Fuller wanted to take one-year deal 'to prove my worth'
"I feel like I wanted to take a one-year just to prove my worth in the league," Fuller said Tuesday, via The Associated Press. "I've had my fair share of injuries, and I've been working really hard. I just want to prove to the NFL, to the Dolphins for taking a chance on me, that I'm a player that they would love to have long-term."

Marcus Mariota not fretting pay cut: 'Just excited to be a Raider'
"I think at the end of the day. I focus on controlling what I can control," he said. "That's the product in the field. Every day I wake up, I train, and get ready to go. At the end of the day, we're very blessed to play this game for a living. A lot of us make a really good amount of money. For me, I just love playing the game. The excitement, the opportunity to be a Raider, overcame all of that. To be here in Vegas, to be a part of this organization meant a lot more to me. I'm excited to be able to come back."