AFC North Free Agency Watch: Day 7


As we head into the second week of free agency, we find that things have slowed some, with the majority of the big name free agents off the board and the second tier of free agents just now beginning to make their rounds around the league for team visits. The AFC North shared in this activity yesterday.

The Pittsburgh Steelers played host to free agent cornerback Patrick Robinson on Monday, a former first-round draft pick with the physical attributes for the position that never quite completely put it together.

The Steelers hoped that he could be had for a bargain as a reclamation project, but he has reportedly left Pittsburgh without signing a contract as he continues on his scheduled visits. We will see if he returns.

In the meantime, it was also reported yesterday that the Steelers are already turning their attention to their next target, and it is another cornerback in the form of former Cowboy Sterling Moore, who was a restricted free agent before Dallas just not to tender him an offer.

The team is obviously in the business of adding depth to the position—especially so after Brice McCain left in free agency, and Antwon Blake’s public intoxication incident doesn’t help either—so it wouldn’t be surprising to hear that he ends up signing, assuming he isn’t looking to break the bank. Perhaps he could be another McCain-like signing for 2015.

Nobody has been busier, however, than the Cleveland Browns on the start of this work week. They have agreed to terms with a pair of free agents by the evening, signing defensive tackle Randy Starks and cornerback Tramon Williams.

Admittedly, I am not convinced of these signings. The Browns gave Williams a three-year contract after having already turned 32. His deal is worth up to $21 million, but the devil is always in the details. Of course, with a team such as the Browns, who are usually closer to the cap ceiling than the floor, they can afford to—sometimes have to—make these types of moves.

As for Starks, who himself is 31, his two-year, $8 million contract seems more reasonable, particularly given the need that the Browns currently have in the middle of their defensive line, with their top two at the position hitting free agency.

The Browns have also been hosting free agent wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, but he has not yet signed as of the time of this writing. That could change quickly.

The Baltimore Ravens were also reportedly interesting in Tramon Williams, who has now joined a division rival. There are rumors that the Ravens may potentially have an interest in the recently released Greg Jennings, who will turn 32 in September, to pair with Steve Smith at wide receiver, who will turn 36 in May.

As for the Cincinnati Bengals, all has been relatively quiet in their corner of Ohio yesterday. They landed a reunion with defensive end Michael Johnson recently, which seems to have contented them for now.

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