Football

Bengals' focus on long-term in NFL draft

Out in Los Angeles, Chad Ochocinco is trying to get the timing down on a quickstep routine that he hoped would keep him on "Dancing with the Stars" for another week.

Back in Cincinnati, his Bengals teammates are trying to get the timing down on their pass routes so they can get back into the playoffs for a second straight year.

With Ochocinco and several other starters on both offense and defense heading into the final year of their contracts, Cincinnati heads into this week's NFL Draft thinking long-term.

The Bengals went 10-6 last year, ran the table in the AFC North for the first time in their history and reached the playoffs for only the second time since 1991. Even though they lost to the Jets in their first playoff game, they decided that the team was good enough to keep around.

There's been only one significant change in the starting lineup — Antonio Bryant replaces Laveranues Coles as Ochocinco's complementary receiver. With most starting spots filled, the Bengals are looking long-term in this draft.

"It's great," quarterback Carson Palmer said. "It's nice to not have four or five spots where we're like, 'Oh, we need to find somebody to play and we need to find them now.'"

Receiver and tight end have been two of the biggest problems lately.

The Bengals signed Coles after T.J. Houshmandzadeh left, but he was so unproductive that they let him go after one season. Bryant was their top free agent acquisition, but there's still an unproven cast behind him and Ochocinco.

"I've heard the same things you guys have heard — a receiver, a tight end," Palmer said. "I don't know what we're going to do. But there's not really a drastic need per se, other than a couple of spots here or there."

Otherwise, they're in good shape.

"I think we're in a good spot that way, not going into the draft saying, 'We've really got an empty chair at one spot,'" Coach Marvin Lewis said. "We're able to let our draft board pick our players as we go."

Goodell: Roethlisberger violated conduct policy

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger violated the NFL's personal-conduct policy, Commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday.

Goodell said on Dan Patrick's radio show that the key issue is a "pattern of behavior" and "bad judgments."

Last week, prosecutors in Georgia declined to charge Roethlisberger after a college student accused him of sexual assault in March.

The NFL is expected to discipline Roethlisberger, although it says there is no timetable for such a decision. The Steelers have said they expect a decision next week.

Eagles get Sims, Lions get Scheffler

Looking to upgrade their linebackers, the Philadelphia Eagles are hoping former first-round pick Ernie Sims can be a solution.

The Eagles acquired Sims in a three-way deal with Detroit and Denver on Monday. Philadelphia dealt a fifth-round pick to the Broncos, who are sending tight end Tony Scheffler and a seventh-round pick to the Lions.

Vikings re-sign Jackson

The Minnesota Vikings re-signed backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson as they wait for Brett Favre to decide if he will return for another season. Jackson served in a backup role to Favre last season and appeared in eight games.

The fifth-year team veteran has 19 career starts with 21 career touchdowns passing and four rushing.

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