Andy Dalton said he has passed the tests to do some passing and he'll celebrate by throwing next week at Tom House's quarterbacks camp at USC.
Dalton, who missed the last four games of the season with a broken throwing thumb, says he's not gunning it and is still planning to take things slowly.
"It feels good to be able to do something, but I still want to take it slowly," said Dalton, who'll spend four days in Los Angeles.
He says he'll make some other trips to the coast to work with House and coach Adam Dedeaux before training camp, like last year when he took his receivers on one of the trips. But this year he's not sure who he's going to be taking with two of his top three wideouts, Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu, hitting free agency Wednesday.
They are just two of 11 Bengals regulars going on the market. As of noon Monday they were able to talk to other teams but were unable to finalize or announce deals with those teams until 4 p.m. Wednesday. They can re-sign with the Bengals at any point, but as it has appeared around the league for the last week or so, nothing is going to happen until other teams make solid offers and that may not happen until Wednesday.
"It's a different situation than what we've been in since I've been here," said Dalton, who has had Jones and Sanu for four of his five seasons. "I obviously want the best for them. But selfishly I want them both back. I understand the business side of it. They have to do what's best for them and their family. I would love to have both Marvin and Mo back."
FREE AGENCY OPENER: The Bengals are not only hoping to re-sign Jones and Sanu, but as many of their free agents as they can. Nothing bubbled up Monday except reports that everyone knew last fall. A lot of their free agents have interest from guys that know them.
Cleveland head coach Hue Jackson is reportedly pursuing Marvin Jones. The Giants are stalking Sanu, the Jersey schoolboy standout who played at Rutgers. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has asked about three of his former players in Cincinnati, starting safeties George Iloka and Reggie Nelson as well as backup linebacker Vincent Rey. Pro Football Talk.com says cornerback Adam Jones is on the radar of Jackson's Browns, Zimmer's Vikings, and the Dolphins, whose defense is coordinated by former Bengals secondary coach Vance Joseph. Not to mention Dallas, where he played in 2008.
The Cincinnati Enquirer says the Giants, Falcons and Lions are also in the Iloka hunt.
FINE SLASHED: Jones' finances got off to a good start this week. According to PFT, the NFL slashed his fine for making contact with an official on the last play of the Wild Card Game from $28,940 from $12,500. Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks heard the appeal, in which Jones argued the contact was inadvertent and that he was provoked by Steelers assistant coach Joey Porter illegally on the field.
Jones texted his reaction to Bengals.com: "Nothing to say."