The AFC North Offseason Buzz

The AFC North Offseason Buzz
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No wonder Antonio Brown and fellow Steelers are Connor McGregor fans

Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens will likely meet with their favorite agent this weekend, none other than Joe Flacco’s representative Joe Linta.


My Take: While the piece above is intended to raise the blood pressure of fans (which is the intent of many posts on profootball talk whether accurate or not), it leaves out an important piece of the overall story. Yes Joe Flacco does have leverage this year, but only this year. Next year his dead money ($15.3M) is actually less than his cap savings if the Ravens cut him ($15.85M). In 2018 he has zero leverage with just a $4.7M cap hit and a $20M cap savings. I doubt I have to explain this to the Ravens front office, but THIS IS THEIR LEVERAGE in the upcoming contract discussion. If the Ravens wait a year, the Ravens hold many cards, and in two years they hold all of the cards. Neither side wants this, so its not a one-sided negotiation this season.

Cleveland Browns

There is plenty of blame to go around regarding the lack of success in Cleveland, but many are questioning the Browns defense and more specifically the coaching staff.

My Take: For more than three years now, the talent on defense was supposed to help carry this team, but in many cases it has failed worse than the offense. This hasn’t been the result of a single coaching staff because the staff has changed plenty over this period, and some positions more than once (although the Browns actually had the same defensive coordinator for the past two season.) Yes they have big names at key positions, but the supporting cast and reserves have been filled with question marks. The front office doesn’t spend up to the salary cap to fill voids or add support like many top teams, and until they loosen their wallet, no coaching staff is a big enough Band-Aid to patch the key defensive holes.

Cincinnati Bengals


Ever since the NFL made headshot rule changes, one comment fans hear every single year is “I just need to change my style of play”.

My Take: Vontez, you play just fine. Its not your instincts that get in the way, its your head. In no stop along the way in your football career did a coach teach you to see the head, hit the head, or see the knee, hit the knee. I would believe you if it were a case of old school techniques, but its not. You can play tough and clean or even borderline. The issue is the over-the-top plays which are either dirty, after the whistle, and/or purposeful.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Nothing wrong with a little clean fun in the offseason and Antonio Brown is usually front and center as the Steelers representative in this area.


My Take: I watched this UFC event, and as much as my Ravens fandom steers me to hate the Steelers (with respect of course), I’m a big fan of athletes crossing over and watching others perform at a high level. Although NFL players watching MMA isn’t quite as unique as NFL players watching hockey, its still great to see. Interestingly, the Steelers mentioned being big Connor McGregor fans, which makes sense not just because of McGregor’s NFL-style smack-talk, but also because he back up everything his says.

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