Bengals Bytes (6/7): Sam Hubbard is adjusting to life in the NFL

Bengals Bytes (6/7): Sam Hubbard is adjusting to life in the NFL More Randy Bullock Has Not Been Terrible for the Bengals Cincinnati Bengals fans have indeed been through the ringer as it relates to kickers. To start the 2016 season, longtime Bengals kicker Mike Nugent missed several crucial field goals. Before the Bengals cut him, Nugent kicked only 79%, and even worse in the 4th quarter. To fill the kicker void, the team signed veteran Randy Bullock.

Josh Malone squaring off with William Jackson at Bengals OTAs Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Josh Malone wants to emerge as a weapon for the offense in 2018.

The starting quarterback looked mobile enough at this stage moving laterally in this fun drill:

The 23-year-old pick also increased his touchdown total from six to nine in 2017, despite the fact that Chicago’s passing game ranked last in the NFL. And yet 98 running backs are making a higher average annual salary than Howard’s $647,006.

Why? Because of the collective bargaining agreement that makes no sense? Because somebody wanted to get their little win here vs. their little win over there? Get together and do what’s best for these players, and it’s about time that somebody stepped to the plate and realized that and [took] the politics out of it.

Per PFR, running back Alex Collins was the fourth-most-valuable member of the Baltimore Ravens in 2017. And it’s easy to see why, because the 23-year-old broke out and gave the Ravens offense some much-needed balance with a 4.6 yards-per-attempt average and 1,160 scrimmage yards in his first season with the team. 

But Collins was handcuffed by his circumstances this offseason and was forced to return on a one-year exclusive-rights free-agent deal worth just $630,000.

That makes him the ninth-lowest-paid non-rookie on the Baltimore roster, so this is a no-brainer.

On running plays, Alex Collins was one of the best tailbacks in the league last year.

The issue is, that’s not that valuable. You can argue that in today’s NFL, your ability to block and catch out of the backfield is more important than running the football.

Historically speaking, only five first-round quarterbacks (Ben Roethlisberger, Robert Griffin III, Dan Marino, Matt Ryan and Deshaun Watson) were significantly above-average passers as rookies. As we’ve seen with the development of players like Derek Carr, Carson Wentz and Jared Goff, quarterbacks are often far better in their second year than first. 

With that in mind, it’s hard to imagine that first-round quarterback Josh Allen, even without taking into account his supporting cast, would be an above-average passer immediately. When you take into account his supporting cast, the projection gets worse.

Joe Flacco (started):

Flacco was given the job after Kyle Boller went down with an injury and Troy Smith got sick. When Smith returned healthy, the team reluctantly left Flacco in as the guy, which of course was the right call.

Flacco led a Ravens team that went 5-11 the year prior to the playoffs. He then became the first rookie QB in NFL history to win two road playoff games before a tight AFC championship game loss to the rival Steelers.

Lions coach Jim Schwartz was clear and confident in his decision to start Stafford right off the bat after the rookie beat out veteran Daunte Culpepper for the job. That might have a little bit to do with the massive amount of money Stafford was given as the No. 1 overall pick.

2016 third-round pick Brandon Williams or the recently traded for Jamar Taylor have to be the clubhouse leaders to fill in for Williams, but there is no must-start cornerback on the roster other than Patrick Peterson. Either way, the loss of a starting cornerback, an every-down safety-slot hybrid and a defensive coordinator, with no proven replacements, is a recipe for disaster.

Up until the draft, the Atlanta Falcons had no functional body that they could plug in at nose tackle to replace Dontari Poe. Poe, a 2017 signing, spent one year with the Falcons before signing a long-term deal with the Carolina Panthers to replace Star Lotulelei.

Shea McClellin prepared to move on with life after NFL

Shea McClellin has suffered five documented concussions, and he’s at peace with the fact he might never play again.

But such is the lure of the NFL that he won’t completely close the door.

“I was feeling good, but unfortunately had more residual effects Cheap Bike Jerseys from concussions. It’s something they can’t clear you for. That’s the way it is nowadays, they’re tough on concussion things. It’s difficult, but I got through it. One thing I’d say, they handled it like they should have. I’m not upset with them, they’re not upset with me, it’s just the way it is. They handled it perfectly.”

The former Bears first-rounder spent his last two seasons with the Patriots, helping them to a Super Bowl win two years ago. The Patriots released him in March with a year left on his contract.

Rollins, 25, faces a tough battle to make the roster. The Packers drafted cornerbacks with their first two choices, taking Louisville’s Jaire Alexander in the first round and Iowa’s Josh Jackson in the second after trading Damarious Randall to the Browns earlier this year.

“That’s just the nature of the business,” Rollins said. “It’s part of football. You’re always trying to find the next person up. I understand the business. You can’t get your feelings tied up in that.”

Alexander, Jackson and Kevin King, a second-round pick in 2017, are locks to make the roster. The Packers brought in veteran Tramon Williams and re-signed Davon House. Lenzy Pipkins, Josh Hawkins, Demetri Goodson, Donatello Brown and Herb Waters also are competing for jobs.

Cohen asked Rollins about the prospect of moving to safety, but Rollins rejected the idea. New General Manager Brian Gutekunst also has faith in Rollins’ ability to play cornerback, if Rollins can stay healthy.