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Sports Today: Another Vontaze Burfict letdown for the Bengals

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Vontaze Burfict has been suspended by the NFL

I happen to agree with those in charge of the Cincinnati Bengals who have suggested Burfict gets a bad rap at times, but how long can the team continue to rely on a player who is so often unavailable to play in its games? 

>>>Marvin Lewis: ‘I think Vontaze has changed quite a bit’

At least his new contract allows the team to recoup some of the money it owes him if/when he gets in trouble. 

The suspension will cost Burfict a little more than $1.6 million, according to overthecap.com. He will lose $896,470 in game checks, plus another $562,500 in 46-man roster incentives that were worked into the three-year, $32.5 million contract he signed in September.

The contract also subjected his signing bonus to forfeiture, resulting in a pro-rated docking of $223,529.

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One has to wonder if this makes linebacker more of a priority in the upcoming NFL draft. 

Especially without Burfict in the lineup, the Bengals defense needs more playmaking from top to bottom.

(I also felt that way last year when they passed on Malik Hooker to take a speedy receiver from Washington they really didn’t need.)  

The unit has been sound for a while (and that will take you a long way), but the focus this offseason seems to be on being more dynamic. 

That’s a pretty good focus, especially with the offense likely to continue to be held back by the quarterback and offensive line… 

The Reds lost again last night. 

It was even worse than most, if not all, of their other losses this season, and there are a lot to choose from. 

Do we really have to get into it? 

Let’s just stuck with David Jablonski’s summation

Jose Peraza had a good day at the plate. The sun came out. Everyone got to wear short sleeves.

Utility infielder Cliff Pennington finished the night on the mound for the Reds. 

He posted a better line than two of the four relievers if that tells you anything. 

Rookies Zach Weiss and Tanner Rainey were put in a tough spot in the seventh inning and failed beyond any reasonable expectation. 

Manager Bryan Price had to rely on them in that situation in large part because he had so badly mismanaged the previous three games in Philadelphia. 

OK, enough of that for now… 

At Fifth Third Field last night, Jeter Downs drove in a the winning run in the ninth inning as the Dayton Dragons completed a sweep of the Lake County Captains with a 10-9 win

Downs’ heroics at the plate made up for an error in the top of the frame that allowed the tying runs to score. 

While the big-league club continues to scuffle, it’s good to see such mental toughness from a potential part of the Reds’ future — especially one who is still just 19. 

After losing their first three, the Dragons have won five in a row. 

Hunter Greene is scheduled to pitch tomorrow against the Great Lakes Loons…

Dragons celebrate with Jeter Downs following a 10-9 defeat of Lake County at Fifth Third Field in Dayton on Thursday, April 12, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Big congratulations are in order for Kelsey Mitchell. 

The Ohio State point guard was taken No. 2 in the WNBA draft Thursday night. 

The Cincinnati native won’t have to move far to begin her pro career, and she’ll have at least one familiar face. 

The Indiana Fever drafted Ohio State center (and Indiana native) Stephanie Mavunga 12 picks after tabbing Mitchell, marking the first time multiple Buckeyes have been taken in the same draft… 

  

Ohio State will play a football game Saturday. 

The start time has been moved up from 1:45 p.m. to 11:45 a.m. in hopes of avoiding the worst weather of the day.

A rainy day might make it harder to get much done, but then again it could also give Urban Meyer and his staff a chance to see quarterback competitors Dwayne Haskins Jr., Joe Burrow and Tate Martell in less-than-ideal conditions. 

Not a bad data point to add in evaluating them, but then again it might not be worth it to increase the risk of injury across the board. 

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