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Bengals News (2/24): Mike Hilton continues recruitment tour

The Bengals cornerback is staying busy this offseason trying to get players to come to Cincinnati.

Super Bowl LVI - Cincinnati Bengals Practice & Media Day Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Bengals Coaching Staff Makes "Betch," On Smooth Switch At Linebacker
James Bettcher, their new linebackers coach who is a former defensive coordinator with the resume of a potential head coach, got two pretty solid recommendations for the Bengals after he took the job in Cincinnati.

Open Letter to Bengals Fans from Rams Season Ticket Holder
I've had the fortunate experience of seeing many NFL games at SoFi Stadium cheering for my Rams, but also seeing on full display how fans of other teams behave in an opponent's stadium. Sadly, I more often than not saw pretty disturbing behavior and antics not worthy of proper human etiquette outside a stadium and certainly not inside one. NOT Bengals fans. The fans that traveled from Cincy were amazing. I engaged with numerous Bengals fans starting in the parking lot, to the pre-game activities outside the stadium, pre-game waiting for the game to start, to finally watching the game.

Bengals safety Jessie Bates hopes to sign long-term deal, avoid tag: 'You only get one shot at this'
"That's a conversation I think that we'll have with my agency and my team," he said Wednesday during an appearance on NFL Now. "I put a lot of trust in them with this whole process. I'm just trying to stay focused, control what I can. We'll see. Hopefully I'm not under a franchise tag. That's something that needs to be discussed as NFLPA a little bit. Some of the top guys got hurt under a franchise tag. It's tough; you only get one shot at this. You just got to play your cards right, I guess you could say."

NFL free agency 2022: Jessie Bates hopes the Bengals do not place franchise tag on him
The Cincinnati Bengals just enjoyed a 2021 season that found them playing in Super Bowl LVI and contending for a Lombardi Trophy. While Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase were some of the stars on the offensive side of the ball that got them to Los Angeles, Jessie Bates was among those on defense who has helped them turn into a true AFC contender. Now, Bates is slated to hit unrestricted free agency this offseason, setting the safety up for a massive payday that quite possibly could put his future in Cincinnati in doubt.

Bengals offensive line trade targets to know before free agency
There’s an idea that good offensive linemen don’t go up for trade very often and/or don’t slip to free agency because lines across the league are so bad. That’s partially true, but Orlando Brown Jr. and other recent deals say otherwise, and the Bengals sitting with so much cap space could mean helping another team with a salary dump.

Cincinnati Bengals players, fans are recruiting Laremy Tunsil on Twitter
So what does one team’s players and fanbase do when they receive news like this? They jump on Twitter to recruit Laremy Tunsil in any way possible. Tunsil sent out a cryptic-like tweet that only set the “what does it mean” questions flying into the Twitter-sphere.

Mike Hilton Recruiting Players to Cincinnati Bengals, Eyes New England Patriots Star J.C. Jackson
The veteran free agent reached out to Laremy Tunsil about potentially coming to Cincinnati earlier this week. He followed that up by tweeting Patriots star J.C. Jackson about signing with the Bengals in free agency. "I know a spot where you’ll be much appreciated," Hilton said in a quote tweet to Jackson. The response came after Jackson said "I guess I can't be that important to them," in a conversation about the Patriots with NBC Sports Boston.

Offensive line needs to be first priority for Bengals this offseason
The 2002 Texans, 1986 Eagles, and now the 2022 Bengals are the only teams in NFL history that have allowed 70 or more sacks in a single season. The Texans allowed 76 and finished the season with a 4-12 record. The Eagles allowed 72 and finished the season with a 5-10-1 record. While the Eagles and Texans ranked toward the bottom of the league after allowing 70 sacks in a season, the Bengals made it all the way to the Super Bowl.

Around the league

2022 NFL offseason: All 32 teams' QB situations ahead of free agency, draft
No QB drips quite like Burrow. The Bengals signal-caller put on a show guiding Cincy to the Super Bowl despite taking a beating nearly every time he stepped on the field. It's a stunner that Burrow is only dealing with an MCL sprain after getting sacked 70 times in 20 games. From his toughness in the pocket to his beautiful deep ball, there are few holes in Joey B's game. The biggest question in Cincinnati is simply how to keep him upright moving forward.

Restructure or release? Ezekiel Elliott, Michael Thomas among eight NFC players to keep an eye on
As we approach free agency (and the NFL draft), coaches and front office executives are hard at work on their team-building strategies for the 2022 season and beyond. With the salary cap estimated at $208.2 million per club for the coming campaign, some teams are sitting pretty (the Dolphins and Jaguars, for example, are flush with cash), while others have tough decisions to make (the Saints and Packers are deep in the red).

Packers GM Brian Gutekunst: Aaron Rodgers domino 'has to fall' before we go down other avenues
The most important piece of the entire operation in Green Bay is Aaron Rodgers, the quarterbacking linchpin of the Packers. Without him, Green Bay can't confidently expect to contend at the same level of the last two seasons, campaigns in which Rodgers has won consecutive AP NFL Most Valuable Player awards.

Rams OL Andrew Whitworth 'leaning towards' retiring, waiting 'couple of weeks' to make final decision
In the lead-up to Super Bowl LVI, Whitworth spoke of how perfect a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals would be to finish his illustrious NFL career. Since that win, Whitworth has dodged questions regarding his future, declining to participate in postgame interviews and sidestepping the matter when asked during the Rams' victory parade, saying he'd "save that conversation for another day."