2015 DRAFT GUIDE
NFL DRAFT: Harrison signed, Bengals look for depth

By JOE KAY - AP Sports Writer
    2013-04-23 16:10

CINCINNATI (AP) - When linebacker James Harrison signed his two-year deal with Cincinnati on Tuesday, the Bengals had a proven playmaker at one of their main areas for concern heading into the NFL draft.

Now, about that right tackle ...

The Bengals won't have to worry so much about a linebacker when the draft starts Thursday night. The 34-year-old Harrison left Pittsburgh after he and the team couldn't agree on a new contract that would help the Steelers get under the salary cap.

He'll move into one of Cincinnati's outside linebacker spots, an upgrade to a defense that finished sixth in the league last season in yards allowed. The Bengals have spent a lot of money on keeping the unit intact, including bringing back middle linebacker Rey Maualuga.

``I think I bring leadership as far as going out there and leading by example,'' the five-time Pro Bowl player said. ``They have a few young guys in the linebacker room and I feel like I can help them there.''

Cincinnati has one thing left on its to-do list before the draft begins Thursday: figure out whether right tackle Andre Smith will be back. The unrestricted free agent has been talking to the Bengals about a new deal, but there's been no agreement.

Whether he returns will factor into the choices the Bengals make come Thursday.

``I am hopeful we can get a solution done there prior to the draft,'' coach Marvin Lewis said Tuesday. ``I know Andre would like to get it done and I think he'd feel better about things so he doesn't get lost without a chair somewhere.''

With the team returning virtually intact, the draft will be more about bringing in players who will add depth for now and grow into starters down the line. The Bengals, who have the 21st overall pick, have gotten to the playoffs as a wild card each of the last two seasons, losing to Houston in the first round both years.

The draft features a lot of solid linemen. The Bengals could use help on the offensive line. Even though the defensive line is a strength, they'll look at adding to their rotation there, too. They also could use help at safety and running back.

``I think in general, there's offensive linemen that will end up being good players here in the National Football League,'' Lewis said. ``I think there's defensive linemen that will end up being good players. Maybe a glut of those two groups a little bit more, guys with similar body types and so forth.

``I think there's probably not a consensus of players throughout the 32 teams, maybe after two or three players this year in all positions. I don't know that it's been much like that in many years past.''

This draft completes Cincinnati's trade with Oakland for quarterback Carson Palmer, which has benefited the Bengals immensely. Palmer threatened to retire rather than play for Cincinnati again. The Bengals dealt him to the Raiders midway through the 2011 season, getting a first-round and a conditional second-round pick for him.

They used the first-round pick last year to take cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, who was limited to five games because of a knee injury and a concussion. This year, they get the fifth pick in the second round - 37th overall - from Oakland.

They also ended up getting the coach that pushed for the deal in Oakland. Hue Jackson was fired by the Raiders after they failed to make the playoffs in 2011. The Bengals hired him as an assistant special teams and defensive backs coach last season. He moved into the role of running backs coach when Jim Anderson retired in the offseason.

``Hue is excited,'' Lewis said. ``He's looked at it for a couple of years through a different set of eyes, both as a coordinator and as a head coach. He's had an opportunity to look at some guys at the position and is really a valuable resource for me, just as he was a year ago. But being back here for the second year and (he's) a big part of the process.''

---

Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Jake BequetteAug 28 08:52a

New England Patriots TE/DE Jake Bequette (undisclosed) was waived/injured Thursday, Aug. 27.

Miles AustinAug 28 08:32a

Philadelphia Eagles WR Miles Austin hasn't stood out, or received many chances to stand out, thus in training camp. His role is undetermined as he could start on the [ More ]

Nelson AgholorAug 27 10:22p

Philadelphia Eagles WR Nelson Agholor should be the 'second-most productive receiver on the team when the season ends,' according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Ryan MallettAug 27 07:52p

Updating a previous report, Houston Texans QB Ryan Mallett missed practice Thursday, Aug. 27, because he overslept. Mallett was present for meetings later on, however. He will also be at practice Friday, Aug. 28.

Josh JohnsonAug 27 07:42p

Free-agent QB Josh Johnson (Bengals) signed with the New York Jets Thursday, Aug. 29. QB Jake Heaps was subsequently waived.

R. Griffin IIIAug 27 07:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (concussion) has been cleared to play Saturday, Aug. 29, against the Baltimore Ravens.

Earl ThomasAug 27 06:22p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) is on track to be ready for the start of the regular season, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Markus WheatonAug 27 05:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Markus Wheaton could be primed for a breakout season, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler.

Letroy GuionAug 27 04:52p

Green Bay Packers DE Letroy Guion will be suspended for the first three games of the regular season after his appeal was apparently denied.

Martavis BryantAug 27 03:02p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant has been suspended four games for violating the league's Substance Abuse Policy, according to league sources. He has filed an appeal.

Arian FosterAug 27 02:22p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has been working out in Houston, and he's expected to return to the field in some facet by Week 2 to Week 4, [ More ]

Pat DevlinAug 27 10:32a

Free-agent QB Pat Devlin (Dolphins) signed with the Cleveland Browns Thursday, Aug. 27. OL Ryan Seymour was waived.

Connor BarthAug 26 08:53p

Free-agent PK Connor Barth (Broncos) agreed to terms with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Aug. 26, on a two-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

DeVante ParkerAug 26 04:23p

Miami Dolphins rookie WR DeVante Parker (foot) isn't sure if he'll be healthy enough in time for Week 1. He and the Dolphins don't want to have rushed return [ More ]

Brandon McManusAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Connor BarthAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Evan RoysterAug 26 10:13a

Atlanta Falcons RB Evan Royster (undisclosed) was waived/injured Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Rex GrossmanAug 26 09:23a

Free-agent QB Rex Grossman (Redskins) was signed by the Atlanta Falcons to a one-year, $1 million deal Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Taylor MaysAug 26 12:43a

The Oakland Raiders signed free-agent SS Taylor Mays (Bengals) Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Orlando ScandrickAug 26 12:43a

Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick (knee) suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee Tuesday, Aug. 25. An MRI confirmed the injury.

Michael VickAug 25 07:42p

Updating a previous report, free-agent QB Michael Vick (Jets) signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Tuesday, Aug. 25. Financial terms were not disclosed. QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) [ More ]

Evan MathisAug 25 06:13p

Free-agent OG Evan Mathis (Eagles) agreed to a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Jameis WinstonAug 25 04:33p

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie QB Jameis Winston (ankle) suffered a sprained ankle Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Lovie Smith still expects [ More ]

Josh JohnsonAug 25 02:53p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Josh Johnson was released Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Victor CruzAug 25 02:42p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (calf) doesn't know when he'll be able to return to practice as he continues to deal with inflammation in [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerAug 25 01:23p

Tennessee Titans backup QB Zach Mettenberger has performed at a high level in training camp and the preseason, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt laughed off a suggestion that the [ More ]

Bruce GradkowskiAug 25 12:53p

Pittsburgh Steelers backup QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) suffered a dislocated finger on his left hand during the team's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers last weekend, according to [ More ]

Andre WilliamsAug 25 12:22p

New York Giants RB Andre Williams could overtake RB Rashad Jennings as the lead back sometime this season, maybe even to open the season. Williams has worked on his [ More ]

Mike EvansAug 25 09:13a

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) isn't believed to have a serious hamstring injury. 'I talked to him and he didn't feel like it [ More ]

Jameis WinstonAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston completed eight of his 13 pass attempts for 90 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against [ More ]

Doug MartinAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin rushed six times for 59 yards in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Mike EvansAug 24 09:12p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) left the preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, Aug. 24, due to a strained hamstring.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group