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Message in the league – other than tho 
The Bengals agreed to a one-year deal with often-injured tight end Tyler Eifert and a three-year deal with punter Kevin Huber on Thursday Sam Koch Jersey , holding onto two of their unrestricted free agents. Eifert has been hurt during much of his five-year career in Cincinnati. He was sidelined for half of the 2016 season because of an ankle injury and a problem with a disc in his back that required surgery. He aggravated his back early last season and went on an injury list after two games.
"Couldn't be happier to stay home in Cincinnati," Eifert tweeted . "The last five years have been tough at times but every day I have been proud to be on the @Bengals."
The Bengals took Eifert with the 21st overall choice in the 2013 draft, hoping his pass receiving skills would upgrade their offense. He's been one of Andy Dalton's favorite targets, especially near the goal line, but has been severely limited by injuries in three of his five seasons.
The Bengals finished last in the NFL in offense last season for the first time in their history.
Eifert caught 39 passes for 445 yards and two touchdowns in 15 games as a rookie. The following year, he hurt his shoulder during training camp and dislocated an elbow in the opener, ending his season. He returned and had his best season in 2015, caching 52 passes for 615 yards and 13 touchdowns, a franchise record for a tight end.
He made the Pro Bowl that season and tore a ligament in his ankle during the game, requiring surgery. He returned and played in eight games in 2016, making 29 catches for 394 yards and five touchdowns, but an injured back disc ended the season and resulted in more surgery.
Huber has spent all 10 seasons with Cincinnati. He had 32 punts inside the 20-yard line last season Tommylee Lewis Jersey , fourth in the NFL.
Winner stays. That’s the norm on the playground, where a team playing pickup ball remains on the court until it is beaten.
And that’s the way Ice Cube insisted it had to be in the BIG3.
Win a championship, come back the next season with the team intact to defend the title.
”To me it goes back to the essence of 3-on-3, king of the court mentality,” Cube said.
The question is whether it’s fair to Trilogy, the undefeated champion from the inaugural season of the entertainer’s 3-on-3 league of former NBA players.
It wouldn’t work in major professional sports. But in the BIG3, back come Kenyon Martin, Al Harrington, Rashad McCants, James White and Dion Glover, who guaranteed themselves a job for this year by winning the title. They have the chance to defend their title against rivals that have bolstered by an influx of former NBA champions, All-Stars or Olympic gold medalists.
”We are at a disadvantage because we have kind of been exposed to what we have and what we’re capable of Steve Largent Jersey , going 10-0, so everybody’s done their homework,” said the 33-year-old McCants. ”They know who we are. There’s a scouting report now, so it’s going to be a lot more difficult this year than it was last year.”
All the players in the league – other than those on Trilogy – who weren’t captains or co-captains went back into this year’s draft pool, with no promise of getting picked with the added talent that was available this year: Amare Stoudemire, Ron Artest, Carlos Boozer, Baron Davis and Nate Robinson signed on. It is unclear what players’ salaries are; the league has not publicly disclosed that information.
The only move for Triology coach Rick Mahorn was the addition of Dahntay Jones when rosters were expanded to six players. The 6-foot-4 McCants, last year’s No. 1 overall pick and leading scorer in the championship game, was promoted to a co-captain.
Cube doesn’t know if job security for the winners was a motivating factor for players who came aboard when he founded his league with entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz. McCants, who played four years in the NBA, a few more overseas and knows how hard it is to have a career playing basketball Frank Gore Jersey , takes pride in the gimmick even while acknowledging that it doesn’t work in his team’s favor.
”It’s a refreshing aspect to the league where you have bragging rights to say, `Hey, you guys got to go back into the combine and go through the draft all over again because you didn’t win, and the winners prevail,”’ he said.
And then in pro sports sometimes they then break up practically the moment the victory celebration is over. Free agency is a benefit for players but at times a detriment to teams.
”We felt like fans are weary of, you get behind a team, they win it, and you don’t know if that same team is going to come back or not,” Cube said. ”You don’t know who’s going to leave, and I just think fans are sick of that. So to me, fans are not really getting into teams as much as they’re getting into players. So that’s the reason why I think there has to be a happy medium between what exists now in sports, which is free agency kind of run rampant Blidi Wreh-Wilson Jersey , and a balance of what the fans really want.
”So there’s got to be something, so in our league we just eliminate that.”
Cube envisions a 12-team league playing twice a week in NBA arenas next season if the BIG3, trying to capitalize on the popularity of 3-on-3, which debuts in the Olympics in 2020 – is successful. That would make even more teams to beat for whoever wins this season’s title. But he believes not changing up the champ is the best approach.
”Like yo, if you win it, you’re the champion, there’s no reason for you to make any changes,” he said. ”And the rest of the league has a measuring stick to draft because everybody goes back to the draft pool pretty much if you don’t win the championship, so you have to reorganize your thinking of your team to figure out how to beat this standard. So it just, to me, works better.”
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