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Bengals News (3/16): Splash

The Bengals made one of the biggest deals they ever have in franchise history for an outside free agent.

NFL Combine Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Reports: Bengals Strike With 4-Time Pro Bowl LT Orlando Brown, Jr.
For the fourth straight year the Bengals opened free agency with a swashbuckling move for an elite starter. Multiple sources reported late Wednesday night that the Bengals gave four-time Pro Bowl left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. a record $31 million signing bonus to protect quarterback Joe Burrow's blindside just a month after helping the Chiefs win the Super Bowl.

Chidobe Awuzie's Offseason Of Rehab Eyes Pro Bowl And Bigger Leadership Role For Bengals
Leaving the locker room carrying the book "The Art of Becoming Oneself," Awuzie is also looking at expanding his already wide berth in the locker room in the wake of the departures of safeties Jessie Bates III and Vonn Bell. Bates and Bell were towering cultural figures and Awuzie knows what's needed and is even prepared to take the lead in those player-only secondary meetings Bell masterminded.

Germaine Pratt's New Bengals Deal Is Business As Usual For A Mother's Son
Pratt, the Bengals linebacker whose renowned film study has allowed him to choreograph some of the most memorable moments of this memorable decade for the franchise, has the knack for doing the right thing at the right time. The phone call stirred the text chain with his two brothers and mother and it's still going a few days later.

Bengals get OT Orlando Brown Jr. for 4 years, $64 million
The Bengals paid a premium to land Brown, the former Kansas City Chiefs star who was one of the best available offensive tackles in free agency. According to Portner, the deal pays $42.3 million over the first two years and includes a signing bonus of over $31 million, the highest ever for an offensive lineman.

Bengals’ best free agent options to replace Hayden Hurst
The unlikely possibility of a Hurst return, plus the empty depth chart, is why plenty of mocks have the team drafting a tight end in the first round. But the front office will surely offset that with at least one signing on the open market — and presumably soon.

Look: Cincinnati Bengals Cornerback Mike Hilton Recruiting Free Agent Tight End Mike Gesicki
Mike Hilton is recruiting free agents left and right this month. The Bengal cornerback's latest target is Dolphins free agent Mike Gesicki. The playmaker played on the franchise tag last season and is PFF's third-best free-agent tight end in this cycle.

Prosecutor to discuss shooting near house tied to Bengals' Joe Mixon that injured teen
Prosecutor Melissa Powers is holding a press conference Thursday afternoon to address last week's Anderson Township shooting near the home of Bengals running back Joe Mixon.

2023 NFL free agency Day 3 winners, losers: Jets getting new QB in Aaron Rodgers, Bengals steal LT from rival
Happy New Year, everyone. All of the tampering we witnessed this week had a chance to become official on Wednesday, as the NFL's new league year began. Wednesday was a very dramatic day in general. Baker Mayfield found his new NFL home with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Dallas Cowboys released Ezekiel Elliott, Darius Slay was reportedly released, but then actually not released by the Philadelphia Eagles and of course, Aaron Rodgers revealed his intentions for the 2023 season.

Nick Scott to visit Bengals
The Bengals have seen a pair of safeties agree to deals with new teams this offseason and they’re meeting with a possible addition to the group on Thursday.

Bengals outbid Steelers and Jets to sign Orlando Brown Jr.
That’s a stunning comment for Bengals fans, who now see a front office that just outbid two other teams for a 26-year-old left tackle by giving out more guaranteed cash to him than they did all three offensive line signings last year — while front-loading the deal to avoid hurting things like Joe Burrow’s extension.

Around the league

CB Darius Slay expected to remain with Eagles after day-long discussions Wednesday
After being given permission to seek a trade ahead of free agency and his release reportedly imminent earlier Wednesday, Slay tweeted later the same evening, "Back like I never left!!! Run it back."

Jameis Winston explains return to Saints as backup quarterback behind Derek Carr
"First, I love this city," Winston wrote. "In all of my professional career, I've never felt so culturally in tune with a fan base. The Saints fans that I've met have been incredible. Y'all have made me and my family feel at home. That is why last season was so disappointing to me. I want to see this team and city succeed. I know great things are ahead for this team, and this city! I was led here by the spirit that's why I would never run away from this new challenge. The things that led me here are still here. A stable organization, a championship caliber team, and a great fan base. This year's team like last year's team is built to win a Super Bowl.

Giants TE Darren Waller on being traded from Raiders: 'It caught me off guard'
Monday, Darren Waller returned from his honeymoon with wife and WNBA star Kelsey Plum. Tuesday, the tight end found out the Las Vegas Raiders traded him to the New York Giants.

WR D.J. Moore on joining Bears, Justin Fields: 'It's going to be real special'
While the draft-pick portion of the trade is yet to be determined, we know the Bears are getting a legit No. 1 target in Moore, who becomes a key piece for Justin Fields and a remade offense in Chicago.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers says intention is to play for New York Jets in 2023
Rodgers made an extended appearance on The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday and explained his desired location for his 19th season in the NFL and where he currently stands at this point in his career.