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Bengals News (2/15): Bold prediction fans will love

One ESPN analyst has a free agent most have written off returning.

Buffalo Bills v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

'Mad Scientist,' Lou Anarumo Returns To Bengals Lab To Fire Up More Defensive Gems
Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo may not have been named the head coach in Arizona Tuesday, but "Coach Lou," returns as a centerpiece of Bengals head coach Zac Taylor's remarkably stable AFC power, as well as an immensely popular figure in a Bengals locker room where players routinely drench him with complimentary sobriquets.

2023 Season Important Dates
March 13-15: Negotiation Period. During the period beginning at 12 p.m. ET on March 13 and ending at 3:59:59 p.m. ET on March 15, clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2022 Player Contracts at 4 p.m. ET on March 15.

Why Cardinals picked Jonathan Gannon over Bengals’ Lou Anarumo
But as Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. explained, a key relationship made the difference: “Jonathan Gannon was quietly a front-runner for the job from the minute Monti Ossenfort landed the GM spot. The two got to know each other over the last year, and Ossenfort sees Gannon as having the ‘it’ factor necessary in a head coach.”

The Bengals hit a grand slam with their coaching continuity: Mohammad Ahmad
For the fourth straight year, Cincinnati will retain its two coordinators and quarterback coach. Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, offensive coordinator Brian Callahan and quarterback coach Dan Pitcher all remain with Taylor’s staff. Anarumo and Callahan entertained head coaching interviews with Arizona and Indianapolis, respectively, while Pitcher was a prime target for the Buccaneers’ offensive coordinator job.

Cincinnati Bengals Select Tight End Dalton Kincaid In Todd McShay's Latest Mock Draft
"I wouldn't count out an offensive lineman here, but think about how a standout tight end could elevate this offense to another level," McShay wrote. "Joe Burrow threw only 92 passes to tight ends in 2022, sixth-fewest in the league, and now Hayden Hurst is off to free agency. Cincinnati could really use a top-tier pass-catcher there to open things up more on the outside for the Bengals' trio of wideouts, provide a security blanket for Burrow over the middle and stretch the seam for chunk plays. With a big 6-foot-4, 240-pound frame, Kincaid is coming off two straight seasons with 500-plus yards and eight TDs."

If the Bengals need a new RB, these 4 NFL Draft prospects could fit in 2023
For teams that need a speed back that can catch passes, Gibbs is certainly the most intriguing option. He’s a dual-threat running back that has drawn comparisons to Saints running back Alvin Kamara.

Bengals 2022 Position Review: Receiving group is the envy of the league
The heavy investment they made at receiver with Ja’Marr Chase (No. 5 overall pick in 2021) and Tee Higgins (No. 33 pick in 2020) has paid off and Cincinnati has one of the best groups of receivers in the league.

Bengals players thrilled to get Lou Anarumo back for another season
“Selfishly, I’m ecstatic he’ll be back but he’d still make a great head coach,” Logan Wilson told Geoff Hobson of “Glad to be in his system for another year. He’s a players’ coach and guys buy into his system because of that,” Wilson said. “Which in turn allows guys to play free and effectively.”

ESPN's Field Yates Predicts Cincinnati Bengals Re-Sign Safety Jessie Bates III
"Yes," Yates said about Cincinnati re-signing Bates. "The Bengals are about to enter "good problem to have" territory, as the bill comes due as soon as this offseason with extensions for Burrow and Higgins. Ja'Marr Chase is extension-eligible in 2024, and planning has to start now. But Bates has made far too many plays during his tenure for the Bengals to let him go, including five picks over the past three seasons. It'll cost a deal near the top of the market for safeties to keep him, though."

Around the league

NFL news roundup: Latest league updates from Wednesday, Feb. 15
Eric Bieniemy, current Chiefs offensive coordinator, will interview for the Commanders OC job on Thursday and is considered a "top candidate" for the role, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports, per a source.

Derek Carr released by Raiders after nine seasons
Following nine seasons with the Raiders, Carr was released Tuesday ahead of a Feb. 15 deadline, which would have guaranteed $40.4 million in future earnings for Carr under his previous contract, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports. The quarterback will now immediately become a free agent for the first time in his career.

2022 NFL rookie grades, AFC North: Steelers, Ravens find building blocks; mixed bag for Bengals, Browns
With the 2022 NFL season now officially in the books, all eyes turn toward the 2023 NFL Draft. But before a new wave of talent hits the league, Eric Edholm and Nick Shook are taking a team-by-team look back at the rookie class of 2022.

Unhappy Valentine's Day: Chiefs WR JuJu Smith-Schuster draws ire of Eagles WR A.J. Brown after James Bradberry tweet
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was at the center of one of the game's pivotal plays Sunday night when the man covering him, Philadelphia Eagles cornerback James Bradberry, was flagged for defensive holding on third-and-8 with the game tied at 35 with 1:54 remaining to play.