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Bengals News (6/16): Ending on top

The Bengals cancelled their last two days of minicamp after the team impressed coaches.

Cincinnati Bengals Mandatory Minicamp Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Bengals Notebook: Minicamp ends early for Cincinnati, looking ahead to training camp
While some teams balked at participating in the voluntary workouts for a variety of reasons as the country began to bounce back from the pandemic, Bates coordinated the players' feedback with Taylor and they came up with a plan that yielded a month of basically perfect attendance.

Joe Burrow ends his spring on a hot streak for the Bengals
Burrow went flinging into summer hitting all of his passes in a brisk seven-on-seven session of quick throws and check-downs that turned out to be the final set of scrimmage snaps of the mandatory minicamp.

Quick Hits: Taylor Likes What He Sees, Cancels Last Two Days Of Mandatory Mini; Burrow Says He's On Track For Season; Adeniji Feared Out For The Year
Buoyed by 10 practices with what amounted to perfect attendance and a high enough vaccination rate that could allow them to meet in person during training camp and the regular season, head coach Zac Taylor cancelled the remaining two days of mandatory minicamp and sent the Bengals into summer vacation Tuesday afternoon.

Cincinnati Bengals' Joe Burrow still on track for Week 1, hopes to reach '100%' before training camp
Burrow's surgically repaired left knee showed no troublesome signs through the team's 10 offseason practices, including Tuesday's mandatory minicamp. Burrow's optimism for playing in Cincinnati's season opener against the Minnesota Vikings remains intact. With the knee still around 85%, he said, the goal is for the 2020 top overall draft pick to get back to full strength ahead of training camp.

Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates Focused on Winning With Contract Extension Talks Looming
He had 109 tackles, three interceptions, one forced fumble, and 15 passes defensed last season. Bates was also Pro Football Focus’ highest rated safety in 2020.

Cincinnati Bengals: Jordan Hicks is an intriguing trade candidate
Chris Roling of Bleacher Report listed Hicks as a player who should be on the trade block and noted that sentiment about teams potentially waiting until free agency. He also brought up that the Cardinals drafted Hicks’ replacement in Zaven Collins, which pretty much spells the end of Hicks’ time in the desert.

Around the league

Madden NFL 22 cover: Who SHOULD get spotlight? Aaron Donald, Alvin Kamara among 9 players I'd pick
Over the last three decades, though, Madden NFL has clearly reigned supreme. Inherently, the Madden cover's become just about the most prestigious place on which an NFL player's mug can reside. To earn this spotlight, you need to be a star. You need to be dominant and marketable. You need to capture an audience, move a football-crazy nation. Well, unless you're Peyton Hillis, but I digress. Or maybe I don't! Mr. Hillis played a starring role, alongside two literal goats, in a teaser video this week for the Madden NFL 22 cover, which apparently will be revealed Thursday morning:

Ravens' Calais Campbell contemplating retirement after 2021 season
"That's something I'm still figuring out, I guess," Campbell said, per the team's official website. "I kind of take it one year at a time. I know that I've got this year in me for sure. I'm going to give what I have this year, and then we'll reevaluate once the season ends.

Robby Anderson: QB Sam Darnold has different 'aura' in Carolina
"I saw like a new energy out of him, a glowing charisma that I didn't really see in New York," Anderson said, via the Associated Press. "You know when a person, you can see a glow in them, their energy, an aura -- I can see that when I walked into the building and just being around him."

State of the 2021 Detroit Lions: Dan Campbell era begins with promise after transformative offseason
Detroit has long been a city of innovation, from the Mustang to Motown Records to the three-colored stop light. But the previous Lions regime clearly lost its way -- or should I say the Patriot Way? Instead of being innovators, Bob Quinn, Matt Patricia and Co. tried to copy the formula of another franchise and it failed miserably. But now the Lions are looking to blaze their own trail once again. They brought in a man who is anything but conventional -- and he's always shown he's going to do things his way. Is this going to work? Let's take a look.