Bengals brace for other shoe and Tez's reported suspension

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Preston Brown is a nice fit on and off the field.

Where does the other shoe drop?

The weekend is here but the Bengals plan to keep working after a busy Friday found them adding another $5 million in the salary cap when they inked Bills middle linebacker Preston Brown to a one-year deal.
That puts them about $7 million over how much they budgeted to spend in free agency and it looks like they're not stopping and that probably means they're going to make a corresponding move to jettison some cap count.

It's believed they are next setting their sights on filling the back-up quarterback role vacated by AJ McCarron as the Bills and Bengals seem set on playing their own game of catch.

Maybe as soon as the weekend.

And it looks like it doesn't bother the Bengals if, like Brown, the back-up QB is an unrestricted free agent. The UFAs count against the awarding of draft picks in free agency compensation, but the Bengals may be bracing for another wave of their own UFAs to leave to counter the Brown signing and potentially others. McCarron and Chris and Andre Smith have already left, running back Jeremy Hill signed in New England Friday, reports say, and center Russell Bodine and cornerback Adam Jones are still out there.

Meanwhile, the Bengals are bracing for the potential loss of linebacker Vontaze Burfict for the first four games.  According to ESPN, he's appealing a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances. If Burfict doesn't win the appeal, it marks the third straight season Burfict has started the season on the suspended list. He missed the first three games in each of 2016 and 2017 for violating player safety rules.

ESPN.com is reporting that Burfict argues he couldn't be using any drugs to enhance his condition when he wasn't playing. The web site said he failed the test Dec. 27 during a week he was declared out for the season's last game and was taking prescription medication for the concussion he suffered against the Steelers and a shoulder injury against the Lions in the last month of the season.

If the appeal fails, look for Brown to stay in the middle and line up with either his off-season training partner, nine-year man Vincent Rey at WILL, or sophomore Jordan Evans.



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