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Bengals News (6/14): Early returns

Chidobe Awuzie really impressed during OTAs after being brought in this offseason as a free agent.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Dave Lapham breaks down the Bengals Ring of Honor nominees
Dave Lapham is one of the 17 nominees on the Bengals' inaugural Ring of Honor ballot, but that shouldn't rob us from hearing the same entertaining, enthusiastic takes on the list that he's been giving to his loyal listeners on the Bengals Radio Network when it comes to everything stripes.

Bengals Booth Podcast: Interviews with NFL.com writer Adam Schein and Dave Lapham during organized team activites
It's the "High Hopes" edition of the Bengals Booth Podcast as the always entertaining Adam Schein joins Dan Hoard to explain why he has high hopes for Cincinnati in 2021 and beyond.

NFL mandatory minicamp storylines for 19 teams - First looks at Julio Jones, A.J. Green in new places, more
How well is A.J. Green working his way into the mix with Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins? The Cardinals trimmed their OTA schedule from 10 to three, which means they'll have as many practices during this minicamp as they did in the rest of the offseason combined. That's not much time for Murray to get on the same page with Green, though the pair put in some work together away from the facility earlier in the offseason. The sooner that group is up and running, the better the chances are to contend in a loaded NFC West. -- Nick Wagoner

Bengals impressed with how Tee Higgins looks headed into second season
After looking like a first-rounder the team thought him to be last year while nearly breaking franchise records, Higgins showed up to OTAs stronger and faster than last year and has made it clear he wants to improve on making big plays down the field.

Cincinnati Bengals: 1988 team considered best in franchise history
When looking at every team in the history of the Cincinnati Bengals, the 1988 team stands above the rest. That year’s squad went 14-5 (including a 12-4 record in the regular season) and led the league in scoring. Boomer Esiason was also named league MVP, remaining the last Bengal to win the prestigious award.

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Sean McVay Gave Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor His Pre-Draft Thoughts on Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase
CINCINNATI — The debate about the fifth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft lasted for months. Ultimately, the Bengals took LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase, but there were plenty of people that thought they should've selected Penei Sewell.

Cincinnati Bengals Cornerback Chidobe Awuzie Earns Big Time Praise After OTAs
They signed Chidobe Awuzie first, before inking Mike Hilton and Eli Apple in free agency. Throw in Trae Waynes, who missed all of 2020 due to a pectoral injury and four of the Bengals top five cornerbacks will take their first snaps as a member of the team this season.

Around the league

Broncos DE Von Miller ignoring QB rumors in Denver: 'We’ve got Drew Lock'
"It's crazy to think about, you know, getting an Aaron Rodgers," Miller said over the weekend during his annual pass-rushing summit, per Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "You put him on any team in the league, and he changes that team."

State of the 2021 Minnesota Vikings: Time for Mike Zimmer's crew to strike
The Vikings have been one of the better teams in the NFL over the past few years, reaching the NFC Championship Game in 2017 and authoring some of the most improbable playoff wins in recent memory (sorry, Saints fans). In Mike Zimmer's seven seasons as head coach so far, Minnesota has only logged two losing campaigns. Unfortunately, last season was one of them. The disappointment of going 7-9 underlined the broader frustration of being a perpetual contender (at least on paper) that always hangs around the playoff picture without really breaking through.

Jarvis Landry: Odell Beckham Jr. 'looked amazing' in rehab from knee surgery
However, the best friend of the star receiver, Jarvis Landry, has viewed firsthand how Beckham's rehab is going. Beckham participated in Landry's charity softball event over the weekend. Landry told reporters that during offseason workouts, his teammate had looked back to his old self following knee surgery.

Dolphins, Jerome Baker agree to three-year, $39 million contract extension
Baker's payday is a testament to the unwavering production that has largely gone under the radar the past two years. The 24-year-old has emerged as one of the leaders of a budding young defense, leading the Dolphins in tackles in each of the past two seasons. His extension comes after posting a career-high seven sacks in 2020.