AFC North

The AFC North Afternoon Buzz

The AFC North Afternoon Buzz
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The entire AFC North has had the case of the Mondays this off-season

 

In the latest AFC North news, the Browns quarterback situation is as clear as mud, and the rest of the north start to think about spending what they have or don’t have.

Here’s today’s buzz, or at least things that happened over the weekend while you were supposed to be getting your romance on. Enjoy.

Cleveland Browns

The news never stops in Cleveland when it comes to Quarterbacks. Today’s S/R morning links discussed Brian Hoyer holding the cards in negotiations with the Browns, who offered a 4th round pick to the Redskins for Kirk Cousins in 2014. There is also chatter about the Browns moving up to grab Marcus Mariota in the 2015 draft. The latest new comes from an unnamed Browns player fantasizing about what could have been if Teddy Bridgewater was leading the team.

My Take: Until the Browns quit with the knee-jerk reactions from both a drafting perspective and a development perspective, they will never resolve the quarterback situation. As for not taking Bridgewater, who was the 32nd pick in the first round, sure hindsight is always 20-20, but Bridgewater had better physical tools, and was considered to be the favored #1 overall pick before his poor pro-day as he inexplicably shed his trusty throwing glove on the NFL’s biggest showcase. The Browns seemed to have Manziel slotted as their guy no matter what negative signs he displayed, and Bridgewater and others gave the team ammo to use as justification for not taking another quarterback.

For what it’s worth, over the past two years the Browns are 10-6 when Brian Hoyer starts, and are 5-15 with Josh Gordon during that same two year period.

Baltimore Ravens

News about the Ravens seems to be centered around who the Ravens should pay to fill certain voids, and there has been much discussion regarding their running back and cornerback positions. Yes, Will Hill currently with court issues, and without an official contract is lobbying for Antrel Rolle.

My take: First let the Ravens create some cap space before worrying about who would best be suited at each position. The priority should be extending Ngata, Yanda, and Webb, to create the most room, then supplement with the likes of Sam Koch and Chris Canty, who could add a million or two with either being cut or extended. Keep your eyes out for future cap space segments on each team of the AFC North.

Cincinnati Bengals

A team with no shortage of cap space is once again the Cincinnati Bengals, with an estimated $33M or more available to make a rare splash on the unrestricted free agent market.

My Take: The Bengals will have many holes to fill either by resigning players, or hitting the free agent market. I’m never a fan of bringing in the top UFAs at each position because they are undoubtedly overpriced and can wreak havoc on a team’s future salary cap. However, this team needs some type of major change to give its players and fans hope that they are trying to make it to the next level. Whether or not a player like Pierre-Paul is the answer is up for debate.

Pittsburgh Steelers

This article may be old by today’s standards, but brings home the Steelers quandary in terms of Big Ben’s contract negotiations.

My Take: There is no doubt Ben will get a $20-25M+ per year contract, but the question is how much guarantee will he receive and over how many years? He is at an age (33 in two weeks) where he can point to other 38 year old quarterbacks performing at a high level and justify a 5 to 6 year deal, while the Steelers can point to other quarterbacks who had a rapid decline after taking so much punishment early in their careers. My guess is Ben will get what he wants out of loyalty, but the club will give themselves an out late in the contract. Either way, I have a feeling the contract will be just north of $120.6M for 5 years.

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