Bengals Rumors

Bengals To Consider Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, Chase Young

While favored to take Ohio native Joe Burrow at No. 1 overall, the Bengals are considering three other players for the top pick. The LSU standout is, of course, among this group. But the team is also studying Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert and Chase Young for the pick, Albert Breer of SI.com reports.

The Bengals have stepped back from a report indicating they will not trade the No. 1 pick, but Breer notes the team is not expected to move down. Bengals brass praised the Heisman winner recently, and while it would be a borderline shock if they did not draft Burrow, the team plans to conduct on-campus visits and bring in each player for pre-draft workouts. Burrow, however, is still believed to be the frontrunner, per Breer.

Young is regarded by some as the best pass-rushing prospect available in years, and both Tagovailoa and Herbert entered the 2019 season with much higher profiles than Burrow. Young remains a strong bet to go to the Redskins at No. 2, and if the Bengals do draft Burrow, there could be some jockeying for position at the Nos. 3-4 slots (held by the Lions and Giants) for Tagovailoa and Herbert.

After throwing 16 touchdown passes in 13 games as a junior, Burrow tossed a record-setting 60 in the Tigers’ national championship season. Zac Taylor asked Burrow’s father, Jimmy — who, like Taylor, played at Nebraska — to see if Joe would go to the Senior Bowl, Breer adds. But Joe Burrow declined to attend the Mobile, Ala., showcase.

It is interesting as well to see a pecking order emerge before the Combine, though the Bengals’ top need is not exactly a secret. As such, Young may be trailing the three passers.

We know what Joe is on tape; we know what Tua is on tape; we know what Justin is on tape,” Bengals player personnel director Duke Tobin said, via Breer. “Our role right now is to try to find out what we don’t know — how his leadership works, how his football mind works, how quickly he adapts to different situations, what his overall personality is, what it’s like being around him on a regular Tuesday. How much passion do they have for the game? … We’re trying to get at those types of things, with every player we do, but particularly the quarterbacks.

“… I feel like I’ve got a long way to go, because I’m just now starting the process of asking people close to them what they think of them.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Personnel Director On Green, Dalton, Mixon

Bengals receiver A.J. Green missed the entire 2019 campaign due to an ankle injury, and the last time he suited up for a game was in Week 13 of the 2018 regular season. Given his age (he will be 32 by the time the 2020 regular gets underway) and recent injury history, there has been plenty of speculation that the rebuilding Cincinnati outfit might move on from its franchise icon this offseason.

But that’s not necessarily the case. On Wednesday, Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin told reporters, including Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer, that he plans on having Green back in 2020 (Twitter link). Tobin said “all options are on the table,” which presumably means that the franchise tag and a multiyear pact are in play. Green has previously indicated that he is opposed to the franchise tag, though he did concede that he would not engage in a season-long holdout if he is hit with the tag.

The tag value for wideouts checks in at a whopping $18.5MM, a lot of coin for an aging player who has missed 23 of his team’s last 24 games. A long-term deal would also be quite costly, because with a fairly light free agent receiver class — which gets a lot lighter if Amari Cooper and Emmanuel Sanders re-up with their current teams — Green would likely still command top-dollar on the open market.

On the other hand, a receiver of Green’s caliber would be a major boon to the team’s offense, especially if the Bengals draft Joe Burrow and put him under center right away. The two sides were recently said to be far apart on contract talks, so this is shaping up to be one of this offseason’s most prominent storylines.

Tobin also touched on quarterback Andy Dalton and running back Joe Mixon. The consensus seems to be that the Bengals will look to trade Dalton or cut him if the right deal comes along, but there is also a possibility that he returns as a bridge to Burrow, as Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com writes. As with Green, Tobin said he has not ruled out any options when it comes to Dalton.

Mixon, meanwhile, is eligible for an extension for the first time this offseason, and Tobin plans to explore that possibility. Despite being one of the few dangerous skill position players on the team in 2019, Mixon went over 1,100 yards rushing for the second straight season, and he certainly looks the part of a long-term feature back.

Tobin suggested that the Bengals may be more active in the free agent market than they historically have been, but if they are earmarking a significant amount of money for Mixon and Green, they may not be able to spend as freely as they might like. But they should have enough cap space to make a few key signings, especially if they part ways with Dalton.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Bears' Potential Dalton Interest

  • Andy Dalton and new Bears offensive coordinator Bill Lazor remain close, and JLC can envision this being a factor in how the quarterback dominoes fall during what could be a complex offseason at sports’ marquee position. Dalton “loved” playing for Lazor during his time as Bengals QBs coach and OC, per JLC. Although the Bears have committed to starting Mitchell Trubisky next season, he certainly has not lived up to his No. 2 overall draft slot and could be pushed like 2015 No. 2 pick Marcus Mariota was this season.

Bengals On Possibility Of Trading No. 1 Pick

The Bengals, according to one report, will not trade the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, regardless of what they’re offered. Even though all signs continue to point to LSU’s Joe Burrow, Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin says no decision has been made with regard to who they’ll pick, or whether they’d be willing to trade down. 

I don’t know that any decision has been made for what we’re going to do in April,” Tobin told the team website. “We’re early in the process. We certainly haven’t had any meetings to determine that at this point. Those will be meetings we’ll have as we go through the process.”

Burrow might not be the best overall talent in this year’s class (that designation has been widely bestowed on Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young), but he is viewed as the very best quarterback in this year’s crop and the Bengals’ need for a signal caller is glaring. It would be a shock to see the Bengals take anyone other than Burrow, or sacrifice their chance at the LSU star, but Tobin is playing it cool.

We’ll have a lot of opportunity to get to know him through the process,” Tobin told Bengals.com. “We feel very comfortable by the time we have to make a decision in the draft on him and the other players as well.”

If the Bengals keep their minds and phone lines open, they may find the Panthers among several interested trading partners.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching Notes: Giants, Bengals, Titans

The Giants’ offensive line has been a bit of a mess the past few years, so who rookie head coach Joe Judge decides to hire as his O-line coach is a crucial call. One familiar name is getting consideration, as Dan Graziano of ESPN.com tweets that New York will interview Dave DeGuglielmo for the vacant job. DeGuglielmo has been in the NFL for the past 15 years, and was Miami’s offensive line coach this past season. The year before that he coached Indy’s league-best offensive line, but was surprisingly let go after the season. As Graziano points out, DeGuglielmo coached alongside Judge with the Patriots in 2014-15, so there’s plenty of familiarity there.

Here’s more from the coaching ranks:

  • The Bengals have a new cornerbacks coach, and it’s coming at the expense of the Jets. Cincinnati is hiring Steve Jackson to coach their cornerbacks, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post (Twitter link). Jackson had previously served as the Jets’ assistant defensive backs coach for the past two years. Jackson played with the Oilers/Titans for nine seasons from 1991-1999. He’s served as safeties coach for the Redskins and Titans in the past.
  • The Titans are also losing an assistant coach. Kerry Coombs, Tennessee’s secondary coach, is leaving to become the defensive coordinator at Ohio State, per Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports (Twitter link). There are plenty of connections between the two teams, as Titans head coach Mike Vrabel played at Ohio State and was an assistant coach with the Buckeyes before returning to the NFL. He brought a lot of guys from OSU with him to Tennessee, including Coombs.
  • In case you missed it, ESPN analyst and former backup NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky is drawing interest as a coach.

Bengals Will Not Trade No. 1 Overall Pick

The Bengals are armed with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft, and as it turns out, it was a good year to be the worst team in the league. Cincinnati can select Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow with the top selection, and the club is not hiding its affinity for the LSU signal-caller.

And the Bengals’ public comments about Burrow are not a ploy to heighten the trade value of the No. 1 pick. Per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, Cincinnati has no intention of trading away the selection, regardless of how tempting an offer might be.

Schefter says there has been mounting speculation that the Panthers, whose QB situation is also uncertain, may be gearing up to trade for the top pick. That speculation has grown since Carolina recently named LSU passing game coordinator, Joe Brady, as its new OC. And the Dolphins, another QB-needy club, have three first-round picks in the 2020 draft, so they have the capital to move up if they want.

But the Bengals are not interested, as they are locked in on Burrow. The Ohio native just completed one of the finest seasons in college football history, leading his Tigers to a national championship while completing 76.3% of his passes for an incredible 60 touchdowns against just six interceptions.

Burrow will not participate in the Senior Bowl, but even if he does not do anything until the draft, his spot as the No. 1 overall pick seems secure.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Joe Burrow, Bengals

We’re months away from the NFL Draft, but there’s little doubt about who the Bengals will select with the No. 1 overall pick. All signs are pointing to quarterback Joe Burrow and the Bengals aren’t hiding their affinity for the LSU star. 

He’s got natural pocket feel. He feels it,” Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said. “It seems like he never takes his eyes off down the field. He extends the play really, really well. He’s a lot faster than you might assume when you see him running away from all those SEC guys. He’s got incredible up-field accuracy. The ball hardly ever hits the ground in a game, which is rare. He just naturally puts the ball in places where those guys can make plays.”

And, despite the Bengals’ struggles in recent years, Burrow’s father says the QB would be honored and delighted to be their signal caller.

He’s excited to even be in that conversation and if the Bengals do draft him, he’s going to be happy,” Jimmy Burrow told TSN 690 (via Ben Baby of ESPN.com). “He’ll look at it as a challenge, but he’ll be confident that eventually, they can win a lot of games there in Cincinnati.”

Burrow put himself on the national recruiting radar at Ohio’s Athens High School, where he led the program to three straight playoff appearances. After that, he attended Ohio State and spent the next two years as a backup to J. T. Barrett. Then, when he was told that Dwayne Haskins would be the team’s new starting quarterback, he transferred to LSU and won the top job.

After a strong 2018 season, Burrow shattered all expectations with a 76.3% completion rate, 5,671 passing yards, and 60 (yes, 60) touchdowns through the air. He also added another five rushing TDs for good measure.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Hire Al Golden As LBs Coach

  • It didn’t take long for Al Golden to find a new gig. After getting canned by the Lions, the 50-year-old has joined the Bengals as their new linebackers coach (via ProFootballTalk.com’s Charean Williams). Golden spent four seasons in Detroit, serving as a linebackers coach and tight ends coach.

Updated 2020 NFL Draft Order

The stage has been set for the conference championships. The Titans, Chiefs, 49ers, and Packers are moving on to the semifinals, while the Texans, Seahawks, Ravens, and Vikings will begin planning for the offseason ahead. Unfortunately for the Texans, their first round pick belongs to the Dolphins.

Here’s an updated look at the 2020 NFL Draft order from Nos. 1-28:

1. Bengals (2-14)

2. Redskins (3-13)

3. Lions (3-12-1)

4. Giants (4-12)

5 Dolphins (5-11)

6. Chargers (5-11)

7. Panthers (5-11)

8. Cardinals (5-10-1)

9. Jaguars (6-10)

10. Browns (6-10)

11. Jets (7-9)

12. Raiders (7-9)

13. Colts (7-9)

14. Buccaneers (7-9)

15. Broncos (7-9)

16. Falcons (7-9)

17. Cowboys (8-8)

18. Dolphins (via Steelers 8-8)

19. Raiders (via Bears 8-8)

20. Jaguars (via Rams 9-7)

21. Eagles (9-7)

22. Bills (10-6)

23. Patriots (12-4)

24. Saints (13-3)

25. Vikings (10-6)

26. Dolphins (via Texans 10-6)

27. Seahawks (11-5)

28. Ravens (14-2)

NFL Draft Rumors: Lions, Giants, Dolphins

Here’s the latest NFL Draft buzz from Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller:

  • Miller would be positively stunned if the Bengals don’t draft LSU quarterback Joe Burrow No. 1 overall and the Redskins don’t grab Ohio State defensive end Chase Young with the No. 2 pick.
  • With that in mind, Miller feels the draft truly starts at No. 3 overall, where the Lions pick. Sources tell Miller that they’ll look heavily at Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah and Auburn defensive lineman Derrick Brown. Then again, it’s a prime trade-back spot – teams like the Dolphins, Chargers, and Panthers could move up to land a QB.
  • Unless new head coach Joe Judge sways him in a different direction, Giants GM Dave Gettleman is expected to look at edge-rushers, left tackles, and wide receivers with the No. 4 pick. “He can’t help himself with linemen, so slot your top-rated offensive tackle there,” one scout who previously worked with Gettleman said. Alabama’s Jedrick Wills Jr. and Georgia’s Andrew Thomas rank among the top tackles in this year’s crop.
  • No team has done more work on Oregon’s Justin Herbert than the Dolphins, who own the No. 5 pick and two more selections later on, Miller writes. The Dolphins will almost certainly go QB here, then shift their attention to offensive tackle, edge-rusher, and running back help.
  • The same source who tipped Miller off to the Cardinals‘ love of Kyler Murray last year says they’re wild about Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. But, internally, they also feel that the offensive line need is too big to overlook.
  • The Raiders, with two picks in the first round, are looking to go defense and wide receiver, Miller hears.
  • The Bills are already nervous about other teams leapfrogging them for wide receivers, Miller hears. The Bills own the No. 22 overall pick and nine total selections in the draft.
  • The Patriots are impossible to read, but none of Miller’s sources believe that they’ll draft a quarterback early on. Tom Brady has vowed to continue playing, but he’ll also explore his options in free agency.