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Update: Bengals get a 3 and a 4; Commish ready to watch Ocho; Bryant backer; NYC not so Super

Posted Mar 22, 2010

Updated: 7:10 p.m.

ORLANDO, Fla. - As the NFL meetings began to break up for the first day Monday, word came that the Bengals have secured an extra third-round pick and fourth-round pick through the compensatory system. The Bengals expected as much and given that this draft is being characterized as the deepest in memory and that they have come up with solid players with similar picks there were some smiles.

"This is good for us," said head coach Marvin Lewis.

The Bengals' extra third-rounders via the compensatories under Lewis have been linebacker Landon Johnson (2004), wide receiver Andre Caldwell (2008) and tight end Chase Coffman (2009). They got the first extra pick in the third round at No. 96 and the first in the fourth at 131.

"Over the whole history of compensatory choices, we went many years without any and being slow to figure things out," said Bengals president Mike Brown earlier Monday. "We finally did and in recent years we’ve been the recipient of them."

The extra picks are figured out via a formula crunching the numbers of unrestricted free agents lost and signed, and the Bengals were expecting the result. One of the reasons they went after wide receiver Laveranues Coles last year is because he didn't count as an unrestricted free agent because he had been cut before the financial year began. The Bengals lost two UFAs to big deals in wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh and right tackle Stacy Andrews, and another one, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, started eight games.

The Bengals signed just one UFA, backup quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan, and it was all figured into an equation that counts salary, performance and play time.

Johnson was the 96th pick in 2004, Caldwell was 97 and Coffman was 98. A late fourth-round pick near 131 netted Andrews in '04 at 123 and starting defensive tackle Domata Peko at 123 in '06. The Bengals also got a starter out of a comp pick in the seventh round in 2007 with safety Chinedum Ndukwe

"We take into consideration the balance, because if you don’t you’re giving away an opportunity," Brown said. "You have to look at it at the end, not just at the immediate moment."

COMMISH AND OCHO: A lot of eyes are going to be on Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco on Monday night when ABC's Dancing With The Stars debuts. Even those of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell hunkered down here in the middle of the NFL meetings.

As he exited his first news conference of the week after being buffeted by questions ranging from labor-management negotiations to the Jets-Giants coin flip, Goodell was asked if he'd watch.

"I'll watch. I love Chad," Goodell said and when asked if he thought The Ocho would win he said, "He better be the best."

The Ocho's head coach and agent are also interested observers. Marvin Lewis told Sirius NFL Radio that he thinks the show is going to improve Ochocinco's flexibility and agility and that "my wife will be doing the voting" for him.

Drew Rosenhaus, Ochocinco's agent, said he would have been in Los Angeles if he wasn't working the meetings.

"I'll make it out there," Rosenhaus said. "I think he's going to be around for awhile on the show."

Another guy that may be watching is T.O himself. The Ocho tweeted Monday afternoon: "another reason to watch tonight, @terrell owens is part of the beginning of my routine."

BENGALS NIX NYC?: Bengals executive vice president Katie Blackburn is a member of the Super Bowl Advisory Committee grappling with the issue of a Super Bowl in New York City. It is expected to come up for a vote in May, but don’t look for Cincinnati to vote for it.

Bengals president Mike Brown indicated Monday he remembers a few decades ago when the Eagles’ bid to host in Philadelphia was shot down.

“It’s difficult to play a Super Bowl in a northern site outdoors,” Brown said. “I don’t know of anyone who thought in hindsight it should go there. Maybe they’ve changed over the intervening years. I doubt that I have.”

EXTENDED SEASON CONCERNS BROWN: Speaking of bad weather, Brown is all for lopping the last two preseason games and replacing them with the first two regular-season games on the same dates. And has been for a long time. But now he says the NFL is talking about an 18-game season with the two extra games tacked on at the end of the season instead of at the beginning. And he has the same cold concerns.

He realizes that the league has concerns about starting the regular season before Labor Day.

But…

“For us, that’s pretty chilly,” he said. “Playing after Labor Day is a big thing on the East Coast. It’s not so much a big thing in Cincinnati. Our people aren’t down on the shore. For the most part they’re right there anyway. With us I don’t know that it matters like it matters in Philadelphia, New York, Washington, Boston.”

Brown says the issue hasn’t been discussed this week and it has yet to be played out and he’s waiting to hear more. Plus, he thinks it could be part of the negotiations in the collective bargaining agreement talks.

“There are a lot of things that could be tied into this,” he said. “It might not even come to fruition.”

AB BACKER: Redskins general manager Bruce Allen said Monday that he talked with “representatives” of wide receiver Antonio Bryant before the Bengals signed him to a four-year deal two weeks ago.

And it makes sense. Allen was the general manager in 2008 when Tampa Bay signed Bryant even though he had been out of the NFL for a year after failing a drug test and a controversial reckless driving incident in San Francisco.

Bryant responded with a career year under head coach Jon Gruden with 83 catches and nearly 1,300 yards.

“We found him to be a great teammate. His work ethic was excellent and he was one of our most productive players,” Allen said. “We met with him quite a bit. He convinced us where he thought his career could go. We had a lot of people believe in him. Coach Gruden. Richard Mann, the receiver coach, and he really fit in well and was amazingly productive for us. He’s a good player and football is important to him. There s no reason not to expect him to do well.”

Asked if Bryant was ever a problem, Allen said, “Never. And he has a good sense of humor.”

 

 

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