North Notes: Bengals, Manziel, Bears

Safety George Iloka is one of many key Bengals players who will be eligible for free agency this winter, creating some interesting decisions for the club once the season comes to an end. As Iloka tells Paul Dehner of the Cincinnati Enquirer, he thinks that he and his fellow free-agents-to-be have handled the situation well.

“The approach hasn’t been, let’s all try to play individually and get paid the highest amount we can get paid,” Iloka said. “We look at it as, man, this is our last whoo-rah. Who knows who will be back and who won’t, but we are only guaranteed this year. I feel like we have a pretty good squad, we have been together for a long time and I just feel like this is it. If there’s a shot it’s this year. I think that’s been our approach more than, oh, let’s get paid because everyone knows if you make the Super Bowl everyone’s next contract is inflated.¬†Getting to the Super Bowl and winning is our main goal, if you do that the money thing will take care of itself.”

In Dehner’s view, Iloka is one of six Bengals players who should be top priorities for the team this offseason, along with cornerback Adam Jones, wide receivers Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu, defensive end Wallace Gilberry, and linebacker Vincent Rey.

As we wait to see how the Bengals approach their offseason, let’s round up a few more items out of the NFL’s two North divisions….

  • Asked today if Johnny Manziel might want out of Cleveland, Browns head coach Mike Pettine said he’s seen “no indication of that,” adding that talks with Manziel have been good (Twitter link via Mary Kay Cabot of
  • Joel Corry of takes an interesting look at a number of players around the NFL whose performance – or simply ability to stay healthy – could make them some extra money this season, via incentives. One such player is Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, who will profit greatly if he’s able to have more postseason success than he had in his first four NFL seasons.
  • Bears chairman George McCaskey sat down for a Q&A with Dan Pompei, and discussed several past decisions, including multiple general manager and head coach changes, the signing of Ray McDonald, and the release of Jeremiah Ratliff.
  • In a piece for The Sporting News, former Vikings general manager Jeff Diamond says that if he were still running his old club, and could’ve received anything close to fair value, he would’ve traded Adrian Peterson in the offseason. As Diamond explains, the Vikings may not have had the same on-field success this year without their star runinng back, but moving him would’ve sent a “strong message” about the team’s expectations off the field.
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