AFC North Free Agency Watch: Day 11


The second week of free agency is coming to a close, and by and large, the majority of the big names have been off the board for a while. Not that there are not significant signings left to be made, but the flurry of activity from the opening couple of days has clearly died down substantially.

Perhaps the biggest news to trickle out of the AFC North on Friday came in support of that fact. When Pittsburgh Steelers team president Art Rooney II spoke with select members of the media yesterday, the headline of his answers turned out to be his belief that the organization had by and large already completed its free agency strategy.

While Rooney acknowledged that they will continue to monitor the comings and goings of the free agents, and who gets released in the future, he said that he doesn’t anticipate that Pittsburgh will be much further involved.

To date, the Steelers have signed exactly one outside free agent, agreeing to a two-year, $4 million contract with running back DeAngelo Williams. They had two visits from cornerbacks, but neither signed.

In other news, the Steelers recently met with draft prospect outside linebacker Shane Ray over dinner prior to watching him and his teammate, Markus Golden, at their Pro Day. There is also a report that the team will bring in cornerback Kevin Johnson for a visit. They previously sent a contingent to meet with him and his family at his Pro Day.

After recently bolstering their defensive line with a couple of moves, the Cincinnati Bengals also recently re-signed their former cornerback, Brandon Ghee, who tried to make it with the Chargers last year, but was released.

The Bengals, of course, have a roster full of former first-round draft picks at the cornerback position, including their first-round pick from last year. One of them appears to be on the way out at least, as free agent Terence Newman has been taking visits and it reportedly talking figures with the Vikings.

Backup quarterback Jason Campbell is also a free agent, and the Bengals do not appear to want to re-sign him for much more than the minimum, while the veteran is unsure if he is at that point in his career. This could be an opportunity for second-year quarterback A.J. McCarron to move up the depth chart.

The Cleveland Browns recently added to their defensive line by signing Randy Starks, but yesterday they lost defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin to the Seahawks. It doesn’t exactly apparent by their offseason moves that the Browns intended to re-sign him. In fact, many of their free agent signings have been to replace their free agent losses, prior to even losing them.

There wasn’t much news to report about the Baltimore Ravens. Tight end Scott Chandler, who ended up signing with the Patriots, reported yesterday that his decision came down to New England and Baltimore. Also, offensive lineman John Urschel penned an article entitled “Why I Still Play Football”, regarding Chris Borland’s recent retirement, which is worth a read.

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