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Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Burrow’s focus for 2024 is on playing quarterback for the Bengals, but there may be room for other things come 2028.

That is when flag football will become an event at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and Burrow said on Pardon My Take this week that he wouldn’t mind being part of the United States team. Burrow suggested he’d also try to get former LSU teammate Justin Jefferson back in an offense with him and Ja’Marr Chase.

“I really want to play for the Olympic flag football team,” Burrow said. “Like Me, Ja’marr, Justin, Me and my friends out there playing football. . . . I think it’d be really cool.”

Burrow added that it would be “embarrassing” for the United States to not win the gold medal the first time that flag football is played on an Olympic level. It’s not clear at this point whether he’ll actually be involved in making sure that doesn’t happen, but having NFLers on the field would be a good one to improve the chances of taking the prize.


Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt is undeniably one of the league’s best edge defenders. But he also presents a distinctive challenge to quarterbacks when it comes to the pass game.

Entering his eighth season, Watt has seven career interceptions — two of which have come off of Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. In an interview with the Pardon My Take podcast, Burrow noted what makes Watt so difficult to play against.

“Yeah, I can definitely feel [him],” Burrow said. “T.J. is a unique player in this league. There’s no other defensive lineman that I have to treat like a DB. I have to be conscious about where he’s at because he’s just going to jump up and catch it. And there’s nobody else who can do that.

“You have to be alert for him in the pass game, which is very unique, I would say.”

Watt finished second in AP defensive player of the year voting in 2023 after registering 19.0 sacks, 19 tackles for loss, 36 quarterback hits, eight passes defensed, and one interception. The 2017 first-round pick has 12.0 sacks, seven passes defensed, and two picks off of Bengals quarterbacks in his career.


Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has spent more time in front of a piano than under center since hurting his wrist during the 2023 season and he thinks his time out of the spotlight has had an impact on how he’s viewed in the NFL.

During an appearance on Pardon My Take, Burrow was asked about how he stacks up with other top quarterbacks in the league. Burrow said “time will tell” before the discussion moved into whether people have forgotten how good he is because of how much time he missed last year.

Burrow agreed with that assessment and said that he’s planning to offer a strong reminder about what he can do come the fall.

“I believe that,” Burrow said. “That’s what happens when you get hurt, though. You don’t play football, people forget about you. . . . If you’re not out there and people aren’t watching you, then there’s nothing to talk about. I’m going to give people something to talk about this year. I’m excited about it.”

Injuries have been the only thing to really slow Burrow down since he entered the NFL, which is why he’s prioritizing availability heading into the 2024 season.


Who dey say dey gonna buy dem TVs?

As a renovation commences at Paycor Stadium, home of the Cincinnati Bengals, the powers-that-be in Hamilton County have powered down a bunch of televisions. And they’re selling them.

Via WCPO.com, 200 monitors have been sold and another 150 will be available later this week.

The televisions are being sold at a steep discount, with prices ranging from $30 to $60.

The highest price can get a screen from 56 to 85 inches.

It begins on July 13 at 8:00 a.m. ET. It’s happening at Gate D of Paycor Stadium.

The sale is cash only, with no remotes but free mounting brackets. Also, only one TV may be purchased per customer with no returns.


Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow’s 2023 season ended in November with an injured wrist, and he has found a novel way to work on making that wrist healthier: Playing the piano.

Burrow says he took up piano this offseason and discovered that it is making his wrist healthier.

“I’m learning the piano right now, hopefully I can get pretty good at that by next offseason. I guess it’ll be pretty tough during the season, but it’s helped my rehab too for my wrist, so that’s something I want to get good at,” Burrow told Complex.com.

Burrow said playing the piano had long been an interest of his, but the injury was what pushed him to do something that would be fun while also forcing him to make sure he had his mobility back in his hand and wrist.

“I’ve always wanted to learn how to play, but this was an opportune time to work on my hand and wrist dexterity while also learning that. So it was kind of the perfect storm,” Burrow said.

Burrow says his main focus for 2024 is being healthy enough to play every game. Getting better at the piano is a secondary goal.


Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow’s 2023 season was a tale of two injuries.

Burrow hurt his calf during training camp and dealt with the fallout from that issue throughout the early weeks of the season. Burrow didn’t miss any time due to that injury and eventually led the Bengals on a four-game winning streak, but any hope of a return to the playoffs went up in smoke when Burrow suffered a season-ending torn ligament in his right wrist.

Rehab went well enough for Burrow to get on the field during the team’s offseason program and making sure that he doesn’t have to miss any more time has been his top priority heading into the 2024 season.

“Well, number one, I want to be on the field for all the games,” Burrow said, via Ben Felderstein of Complex.com. “I know I’m going to play well when I’m out there. I’m at that point in my career where I’ve seen enough ball and I know myself that I can go out there and play as well as anybody in the game. The biggest strides this year are going to be my body and learning how to get through the season, get through practices with my body, feeling tip, top shape. And so that’s the main focus for the offseason.”

The Bengals won the AFC North and made back-to-back AFC title games with a healthy Burrow running the offense in 2021 and 2022. A return to that kind of health and production would be a welcome development in Cincinnati this year.


One of the biggest storylines of the Bengals offseason program was how many longtime offensive fixtures weren’t on hand, but quarterback Joe Burrow’s focus wasn’t on what was missing.

Wide receivers Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins spent all or most of the offseason program on their own as part of an attempt to land long-term contract extensions with the team, running back Joe Mixon was traded to Houston and wide receiver Tyler Boyd left for the Titans as a free agent. The team did bring in running back Zack Moss, tight end Mike Gesicki and third-round wide receiver Jermaine Burton, however, and Burrow thinks they will team with Chase, Higgins, running back Chase Brown and others to give the Bengals a lot of options when they line up this fall.

“With the personnel we have this year, we’ll be able to do a lot more with personnel groupings,” Burrow said, via the team’s website. “Putting different people in different spots . . . And doing a lot of different things as far as eye candy and making teams adjust their personnel based on ours.”

All of the roster moves took place after the team promoted Dan Pitcher to offensive coordinator, so the Bengals have undergone their most significant offensive changes since Burrow joined the team. The quicker the adaptation to the new look, the better the Bengals’ chances of ending their brief playoff absence.


The vast majority of the 2024 draft class has signed. The biggest cluster of unsigned picks falls in round one.

Five players aren’t signed. They come from three teams.

Bears quarterback Caleb Williams (No. 1) and receiver Rome Odunze (No. 9) are not yet under contract. Ditto for Vikings quarterback J.J. McCarthy (No. 10) and edge rusher Dallas Turner (No. 17).

Also unsigned is Bengals tackle Amarius Mims, the 18th pick in the draft.

All five will have fully-guaranteed four-year deals, with the dollar value slotted based on selection number. While the 2011 CBA dramatically limited the number of topics for haggling, there are still three main categories.

1. Signing bonus cash flow: How much of the signing bonus is paid up front? How much is deferred, and for how long? Players want the money ASAFP. Teams might try to push some of it out, by a year or longer.

2. Voiding of guarantees: What will it take to let a team wipe out the remaining guarantees? There have been issues in the past about suspensions for certain on-field infractions opening the door to erasing the guaranteed money. Players want to limit the team’s ability to un-guarantee the guaranteed cash. Teams prefer the flexibility to get out from under a bad deal.

3. Guarantee offsets: If the player is released with guaranteed money left, will earnings elsewhere reduce the money owed? The player prefers to double dip. The team wants to get credit for salary from a new NFL franchise.

Frankly, there’s no reason for any of the draft picks to not be signed at this point. All players should insist on getting their deals before setting foot on the practice field for the offseason program. More and more teams are getting their deals done quickly enough to give the players the full and complete four-year protection against a potential freak injury.


Training camp is coming. When the 32 teams gather for preseason practices, several high-profile players might not be present, if they force the issue on getting new contracts.

So which names are the ones to watch? Funny you should ask, even if you didn’t.

The goal of this item is to list all of the potential veteran holdouts, with some explanation and analysis of each situation.

That said, there’s a chance some of the players listed below will “hold in.” That’s a fairly new trend where the player shows up for training camp but doesn’t practice while negotiations continue. The only problem with this approach is that, if/when there’s no deal, at some point it’s time to practice and play. For the player who never shows up, it’s easier to keep holding firm. And the pressure remains even more pronounced on the team if the player isn’t there.

The following list has no particular order to it, other than the fact that I went through the eight divisions from AFC East to AFC North to AFC South to AFC West before doing the same in the NFC when compiling the list.

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa

He wants a market deal. The Dolphins have yet to offer one, or they’d already have an agreement. At some point before training camp opens, the Dolphins will make an offer far better than the $23.1 million he’s due to make in his option year. To get what he wants, Tua’s best and only play might be to hold out.

Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill

He’s doing everything he can to put a happy face on a contract situation that has him nearly as unhappy as he was two years ago in Kansas City. Still, the market has passed him by. Even though he says he’s making $30 million per year, he’s at $25 million — behind teammate Jaylen Waddle.

Hill seems to believe the Dolphins will adjust his contract. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. Maybe, at most, they’ll move some of the $45 million he’s due to make in 2026 into 2024, where he’s south of $20 million. If that’s not good enough, maybe he’ll stay away in order to get a deal that compares favorably to other high-end receivers.

Patriots linebacker Matt Judon

Judon skipped some of the offseason program as he enters the final year of his contract. He showed up for mandatory minicamp.

Last year, he held in. This year, he said he won’t be “throwing tantrums.”

One way to not throw tantrums is to not show up. Still, he has made it clear that he plans to show up. While plans can change, his mindset as of last month was to show up and get to work.

Jets linebacker Haason Reddick

The Jets traded for a guy who wanted a new contract without signing him to a new contract. It should be no surprise, then, that he skipped the entire offseason program.

Will he show up for camp? No one knows at this point. The possibility that he won’t underscores the magnitude of the mistake the Jets made in trading for him without getting him signed.

Yeah, the Jets supposedly thought they had a verbal understanding with Reddick that he’d show up for the offseason and they’d eventually do something with his contract. As we’ve seen time and again, verbal understandings aren’t worth the paper they aren’t printed on.

Bengals receiver Ja’Marr Chase

On the day Justin Jefferson got his new deal, the Bengals could have worked out a contract for Chase that same day. And they should have.

It should be easy to get to the new-money number Chase wants. Although Chase showed up for mandatory minicamp, he could decide to take a stand if the Bengals keep dragging their feet.

The good news for the Bengals is that receiver Tee Higgins has signed his franchise tender. Since training camp opens after the deadline for doing a long-term deal, there’s nothing to be gained by staying away. He has opted to accept $21.8 million for 2024, followed by a likely shot at free agency in March, given the team’s longstanding habit of tagging a player for one year before letting him walk away.

Browns receiver Amari Cooper

Cooper skipped mandatory minicamp in an effort to get a deal to replace the final year of his current contract, with a base salary of $20 million. If he doesn’t get a new deal by the start of camp, a holdout can’t be ruled out.

Broncos receiver Courtland Sutton

Sutton showed up for mandatory minicamp despite wanting a new deal. (He’s due to make only $13 million this season.) He hasn’t ruled out a holdout.

Cowboys receiver CeeDee Lamb

Lamb reportedly won’t attend camp without a deal that replaces the $17.9 million he’s due to make in the final year of his rookie contract. Will the Cowboys give him what he wants? As explained Monday, there’s a way to do it while also creating current-year cap space. Which would be a win-win for a team desperately hoping to engineer some wins in the playoffs.

Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons

Parsons has said he’ll be patient when it comes to getting a new contract. He shouldn’t be.

He’s one of the best defensive players in football. He shouldn’t risk his health for less than $3 million in 2024. He should refuse to practice or play until he gets paid.

Yes, he attended mandatory minicamp. So did Ezekiel Elliott in 2019. And then Zeke didn’t show up for training camp.

Without a new contract, Parsons should do the same.

Packers quarterback Jordan Love

There’s currently no reason to think the Packers and Love won’t get a new deal done before training camp opens. If they don’t, however, why should Love show up?

He’s due to make only $11 million this year. He needs to be willing to take a stand, if his contract situation isn’t resolved before the Packers head to training camp.

Buccaneers tackle Tristan Wirfs

With only $18.44 million in salary for 2024, he’s been looking for a new deal all year. He showed up at mandatory minicamp. Again, that’s no guarantee he’ll show up for training camp unless he gets a contract offer that prompts him to sign on the dotted line.

Saints running back Alvin Kamara

Kamara left mandatory minicamp early, due to frustration with contract talks. He wants security beyond 2024, given that the team will tear up next year’s phony-baloney $25 million compensation package.

Will he skip camp without a new deal? We’ll find out when camp opens.

49ers receiver Brandon Aiyuk

Much has been said about Aiyuk and the 49ers and whether he will or won’t be traded. He ultimately needs to ask himself whether he’s willing to show up and play for $14.1 million in 2024 — or whether he wants to draw a line in the sand.

Short of a long-term, market-level deal, the 49ers could give him a sweetener and/or agree not to tag him in 2025. For now, there’s been nothing other than a staring contest augmented by the various things Aiyuk has said, on social media and elsewhere.

When it’s time to show up for camp, we’ll see if he does.

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford

Stafford has wanted more guarantees for a while. He should also want more money. A deal hasn’t been done yet.

If it doesn’t happen before camp opens, who knows? Given the lack of high-end options on the roster, Stafford had plenty of leverage. If he chooses to use it.


The Bengals drafted Dax Hill with the idea that he could become a replacement for Jessie Bates at safety.

But after starting 17 games as a safety last season, Cincinnati has decided to move Hill to outside corner.

It’s a significant shift, but one Hill said he’s been able to make.

“It’s been good,” Hill said, via Laurel Pfahler of the Dayton Daily News. “I feel like obviously it was a transition, one I’m going to have to make but I feel comfortable. I trust the coaches. They’ve been preparing me well. Right now, just with OTAs, there’s only certain things we can do right now, but they’ve been getting me prepared.”

While Hill played significant time at slot corner during his college career at Michigan, the Bengals brought back Mike Hilton this offseason to play that position. So, Hill is in a position battle to play a more unfamiliar role.

“To be honest, a lot of people think I played corner before, but I haven’t played too much, so I really have to start from square one and take it a day at a time,” Hill said. “Right now I feel like it’s been good. First day it was just a little bit different. Now I feel a little bit better in my techniques and certain things like that.”

Last season, Hill recorded 110 total tackles with 11 passes defensed, two interceptions, and 1.5 sacks while playing every defensive snap for Cincinnati.