2014 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

Luke WillsonOct 24 10:44p

Seattle Seahawks TE Luke Willson (groin) will play in the team's Week 8 game, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Crockett GillmoreOct 24 10:32p

Baltimore Ravens rookie TE Crockett Gillmore will receive the start at tight end in Week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Ravens appear to have plenty of confidence [ More ]

Golden TateOct 24 10:12p

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate will be facing the league's 29th ranked pass defense in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons.

Steve JohnsonOct 24 10:08p

San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson has played only 20 percent of the snaps in the last month, but he's been the team's most effective receiver in that time. [ More ]

Reggie BushOct 24 10:02p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is expected to be inactive for the Week 9 game against the Atlanta Falcons in London, according to a source Friday, Oct. 24.

Calvin JohnsonOct 24 10:02p

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson (ankle) is unlikely to play in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons in London, according to a source. The team has a bye in [ More ]

Ryan MathewsOct 24 09:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) missed his sixth consecutive game in Week 8 Thursday, Oct. 23, against the Denver Broncos, but he could return to practice as [ More ]

Donald BrownOct 24 09:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) missed his third straight game in Week 8 Thursday, Oct. 23, against the Denver Broncos, but he might be able to return to practice Monday, Oct. 27.

Alan BallOct 24 07:02p

The Jacksonville Jaguars are extremely thin at cornerback heading into the team's Week 8 game, with CBs Alan Ball (biceps) out, and Dwayne Gratz (hip flexor) questionable. There is [ More ]

Kevin WilliamsOct 24 06:32p

Seattle Seahawks FB Derrick Coleman (foot), DT Jordan Hill (ankle), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), TE Zach Miller (ankle), C Max Unger (foot), LB Bobby Wagner (toe) and WR Bryan [ More ]

Khalif BarnesOct 24 06:32p

Oakland Raiders OT Khalif Barnes (quadriceps) is expected to start at right tackle in Week 8, but head coach Tony Sparano would not say if Barnes or OT Menelik [ More ]

LaMarr WoodleyOct 24 06:22p

Oakland Raiders DE LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) are expected to be placed on the Reserve/Injured list.

Dion SimsOct 24 06:02p

Miami Dolphins SS Jimmy Wilson (hamstring) is listed as doubtful for Week 8. LB Koa Misi (ankle) is listed as questionable, while OT Branden Albert (elbow), LS John Denney [ More ]

Billy WinnOct 24 05:52p

Cleveland Browns WR Rodney Smith (hamstring) and DT Phil Taylor (knee) have been ruled out for Week 8. DE Billy Winn (quadriceps) and SS Jim Leonhard (ankle) are listed [ More ]

Justin TuckOct 24 05:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin), DE LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) did not participate in practice Friday, [ More ]

Derrick ColemanOct 24 05:32p

Updating a previous report, Seattle Seahawks RB Derrick Coleman (foot) had surgery to repair a foot injury this week. He is expected to miss at least six weeks.

Brandon BrownerOct 24 05:32p

New England Patriots DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8. OG Dan Connolly (concussion), DE Dominique [ More ]

Johnathan JosephOct 24 05:32p

Houston Texans CB Darryl Morris (ankle) and LB Jeff Tarpinian (knee) have been ruled out for Week 8 against the Tennessee Titans. LBs Jadeveon Clowney (knee), Brian Cushing (knee), [ More ]

Frostee RuckerOct 24 05:22p

Arizona Cardinals TE Troy Niklas (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the Philadelphia Eagles. DE Calais Campbell (knee) is questionable, while S Rashad Johnson (knee) and [ More ]

Morgan BurnettOct 24 05:12p

Green Bay Packers DE Datone Jones (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the New Orleans Saints. S Morgan Burnett (calf) is questionable, while CB Sam Shields [ More ]

James StarksOct 24 05:12p

Green Bay Packers RB James Starks (ankle) was limited in practice for the second straight day Friday, Oct. 24, but is probable for Week 8 against the New Orleans [ More ]

Lance BriggsOct 24 05:02p

Chicago Bears LB Jonathan Bostic (back) and LB Lance Briggs (ribs) were limited in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and are doubtful for Week 8. S Danny McCray (knee) did [ More ]

Ryan ClarkOct 24 05:02p

Washington Redskins CB Tracy Porter (hamstring) and FS Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) were limited during practice Friday, Oct. 24. DE Chris Baker (thigh), OT Tyler Polumbus (knee), LB Perry [ More ]

Jack CrawfordOct 24 04:52p

Dallas Cowboys OT Doug Free (foot) and DE Jack Crawford (calf) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24. Anthony Spencer (knee) was limited during practice, while LB Bruce [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanOct 24 04:52p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman continues to run with confidence in the absence of RB Montee Ball (groin), and Ball will likely find it hard to win his starting [ More ]

Jonathan GoodwinOct 24 04:32p

New Orleans Saints C Jonathan Goodwin (ankle, knee) and LB Kyle Knox (ankle) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and have been ruled out. DT Brodrick Bunkley [ More ]

Nick MangoldOct 24 04:32p

New York Jets LB Trevor Reilly (knee) and WR Greg Salas (wrist, ankle) both were limited in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and are questionable for Week 8. OT Oday [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 24 04:32p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Christopher Owens (knee) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the St. Louis Rams. WR Junior Hemingway (hamstring) and S Eric Berry (ankle) are [ More ]

Khiry RobinsonOct 24 04:22p

New Orleans Saints RB Khiry Robinson (forearm) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8.

Jo-Lonn DunbarOct 24 04:22p

St. Louis Rams C Tim Barnes (shoulder) and CB Brandon McGee (foot) are both out for Week 8 against the Kansas City Chiefs. CBs Janoris Jenkins (knee) and Trumaine [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 24 04:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) said he won't rush back to play until his ankle is fully healed. 'It's our job to help this team win, and [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 24 04:12p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group