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AFC North Free Agency Watch: Day 9

We are now more than a week into free agency, and while the pace of the proceedings have largely slowed to not much more than a crawl, there continues to be daily action not only around the league, but throughout the AFC North division.

The Pittsburgh Steelers, following two days of hosting free agent cornerbacks and failing to keep them in the building long enough to sign a contract, turned their attention shortly to the draft beginning in little more than a month.

The organization sent a prominent contingent up to the Michigan State Pro Day, which has a number of draftable players at need positions for the Steelers, including cornerback and running back, as well as wide receiver and safety.

It was reported later in the day that head coach Mike Tomlin and others met with Missouri pass rusher Shane Ray for dinner last night prior to his program’s Pro Day, which takes place today. The Steelers are obviously in the market for a pass rusher right now, especially after the unanticipated retirement of Jason Worilds and the quick-drying outside linebacker free agent market.

It’s also worth noting on the Steelers front that offensive coordinator Todd Haley recently spoke about the future of the offense. A few points that he made include continued faith and patience in the development of Dri Archer, the belief that Martavis Bryant will push for a starting job, and the continued need for improvement in the red zone.

Elsewhere around the division, the Baltimore Ravens had an up and down day. The day after running back Bernard Pierce was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, the organization promptly released him, which the running back told his arresting officers would happen.

They also continued to replenish their defensive interior after trading away Haloti Ngata with the addition of two more players. First, they re-signed Chris Canty, a starter last season who they originally released as a salary cap casualty. They also re-signed Lawrence Guy to a two-year contract, adding to the depth at defensive tackle.

The biggest news in the division, however, was the report that the daughter of Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman Devon Still was deemed to be free of any active disease. She has spent much of her young life battling cancer.

Bengals free agent tight end Jermaine Gresham today was diagnosed with a herniated disc. He will need to undergo surgery to correct the issue before he joins any NFL team. Also in Bengals news, free agent safety Taylor Mays scheduled a visit with Minnesota, who had also just met with cornerback Terence Newman. Newman also visited with New England yesterday.

As for the Cleveland Browns, they have spent the offseason replacing their own free agents with like-for-like players, which they also did last season. The biggest piece they have left to replace is perhaps Jordan Cameron, the tight end who signed with Miami. Perhaps Gresham could be that piece to replace him once he is healthy, as the two parties have been linked.

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