Friday early slants and screens

The Bengals and the rest of the NFL are waiting on the league Friday to offer guidelines on transactions with the lockout lifted.

Paramount is to get a read on the ability to sign rookies not drafted. The procedure has always been that teams stay in their war room hours after the final pick Saturday to pursue the free agents. With the expectation the NFL will operate under 2010 rules (no salary cap and six-year free agency), that would fit with the model. But when the league would allow veteran free agency, player trades, and other roster moves is unclear, although there has been some thought the league year would begin Monday.

That's when it looks like the Bengals are going to start their offseason workouts with physicals. Paul Brown Stadium was open for business Friday and rehabbing players such as cornerback Adam Jones and kicker Mike Nugent checked in. Also seen floating around was fullback Fui Vakapuna.

Right guard Bobbie Williams, heading into his eighth season, said he stopped by the facility Friday to pick up his playbook and talk with offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. He said he's ready for a physical Monday and the first day of workouts on Tuesday if the lockout doesn't continue into next week.

"Great to be back. It's nice to be around the coaches and just back working," Williams said. "The key thing is getting the terminology down."

A.J. REACT: Quarterback Jordan Palmer plans to take the flight from southern California to be in the house Monday huddling with Gruden and the new playbook. It turns out he's been a fan of his new big target in first-rounder A.J. Green.

"I've been watching this kid; holy cow," Palmer said. "He's the best receiver to come out in a couple of years. I've never met him, never talked to him. But I like his demeanor out there. I think that's important with guys that play podium positions, like quarterback, cornerback, wide receiver, running back. I'm a big fan of the NBA and my two favorite point guards are Chris Paul and Derrick Rose. Their demeanors never change. You can't tell if they've just missed a shot or made one. I think A.J.'s like that."

The last day of Palmer's four-day passing minicamp at his old high school in Mission Viejo, Calif., is Friday and he's raving about wide receivers Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell.

"They both look great," Palmer said. "Jerome's not practicing like he just wants to make the team, he's practicing like he wants to go to the Pro Bowl. I think the big difference is he just is playing with so much more confidence. He's at his peak. And Bubba (Caldwell) looks good, too. They're both ready."

And, yes, Palmer is watching Friday night's second round with keen interest. Not only to see if there's a quarterback taken, but also what other position might come in.

"I think we've got a chance to get some good players on either side of the ball," Palmer said. "I'm looking forward to getting in there."

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