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Bengals News (2/17): Zac Taylor gets his extension

The Bengals and Zac Taylor will be linked for quite awhile.

Syndication: The Enquirer Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

City Rallies For Bengals One Final Time In A Special Season As Mike Brown Reflects
Mike Brown, who advised his father to put the Bengals in Cincinnati in the 1960s and decided to keep them here in the 1990s, has used the 2020s to welcome a new quarterback and a new generation of fans and that's what he did Wednesday at a Washington Park rally honoring the This Is Us Bengals.

Quick Hits: Zac Taylor On Extension, Protecting Burrow And Praising Bates
"I'm excited for everybody. I feel like the future is bright," Taylor Zoomed with the media. "There's a lot to build on. There's a lot of people that were a big part of this season. Some will get the praise and some won't because they're behind the scenes."

Bengals owner Mike Brown: Joe Burrow is 'tough as nails, we want to do some things to help him'
The star quarterback was sacked 70 times this season, including playoffs, third-most since the 1970 NFL merger. In four postseason games, he was sacked an NFL-record 19 times, including seven times in Super Bowl LVI.

2022 NFL Mock Draft: Bengals invest in protection for Joe Burrow, Falcons trade Calvin Ridley and go WR
Welcome to NFL DRAFT SEASON. It's here. Full speed ahead. The Bengals have to pick an offensive lineman in Round 1, right? Essentially, yes. And this draft season is more fascinating than others in the recent past because we don't have even close to a consensus as to who will be the No. 1 overall pick, and the quarterback class is one giant enigma.

Here's why the Bengals should not draft an offensive lineman with their 1st round pick
Quarterback Joe Burrow was the most-sacked quarterback in the NFL last season, going down 51 times in 16 regular-season starts. He was sacked another 19 times in the four postseason games, third most in NFL history. The seven sacks in the Super Bowl tied an NFL mark, too. But the Cincinnati Bengals should not select an offensive lineman with their first round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Wait, what?

Zac Taylor Explains Why Bengals Went With Samaje Perine Over Joe Mixon During Final Plays of Super Bowl LVI
There have been plenty of questions about the Bengals' decision to put veteran Samaje Perine in the game ahead of Pro Bowl running back Joe Mixon on their final drive of Super Bowl LVI. Mixon was healthy, but was on the bench for key 3rd and 4th-and-1 plays that ultimately ended the game.

Around the league

NFL QB Index: Ranking all 62 starting QBs of the 2021 NFL season
Burrow's wild ride is another reminder of how impossible it is to evaluate quarterbacks. His worst three-game stretch of the season may have been his final three playoff games, yet he was simultaneously the main reason his Bengals kept playing, notching their first two road playoff wins in franchise history. His arm strength and processing both took huge leaps in Year 2. The offensive line made the position nearly unplayable in the postseason, and Burrow needed to be perfect on Super Bowl Sunday. He wasn't, but that doesn't change how far he came this season.

New Seahawks DC Clint Hurtt on Jamal Adams: 'Jamal is still a difference maker'
"Jamal is still a difference maker," Hurtt said, via the team's official website. "How we use him, that's going to be on me. It's our responsibility, my responsibility to make sure we put him in positions so he can be at his very best, and we know how great he is at doing that. The other side of it though, and to his credit, as the season progressed, we put him in situations that really was not his background, so you have to give him some leeway in understanding that he was in a new world last year with some of the things he was doing, playing a quarter safety or half field safety and the adjustments he had to make along the way. And he really improved in that aspect throughout the course of the season.

Bucky Brooks' top five 2022 NFL Draft prospects by position 1.0
With Super Bowl LVI in the rearview and the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine on the horizon, it's time to look toward the next group of talent to hit the pro ranks. Below is my first snapshot of the top five prospects at each major position in the 2022 NFL Draft class:

Falcons release veteran pass rusher Dante Fowler ahead of free agency
Fowler was slated to be a free agent heading into the 2022 season, which was converted into a void year in his restructured contract. The 27-year-old initially signed a three-year deal with Atlanta in free agency in 2020, but Fowler agreed to reduce his salary in 2021 with a chance to earn more in incentives and add the void year.