Random notes from the combine

As I'm now settled after my return from Indianapolis, it's a good idea to go through my notebook one last time to make sure I shared all the pertinent information gathered for our readers at the NFL combine.

So here are some random notes that I didn't get to over the past week that may be of interest:

  • Cleveland Browns general manager Tom Heckert said former Pro Bowl nose tackle Shaun Rogers is recovering well from his broken leg and should be ready by spring camps.

  • The Pittsburgh Steelers' three-year deal with Casey Hampton will not preclude them from drafting a nose tackle early if an attractive prospect is available. Steelers GM Kevin Colbert is impressed by this year's crop of defensive linemen, and the organization usually drafts for needs one or two years down the line. Other possibilities for Pittsburgh on the first day include offensive tackle and cornerback.

  • The Baltimore Ravens are being very secretive this offseason. They aren't saying much about anything right now, which throws up my antennas. With their restrictions in free agency with the "Final Eight Plan," don't be surprised if the Ravens have some potential tricks up their sleeves to work around it. Signing receiver Donte' Stallworth was one example of the team getting creative.

  • I'm told Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer's left thumb is doing fine after surgery, and he should be ready for the offseason program.

  • Here is another interesting note: I asked Bengals coach Marvin Lewis about the contract status of tailback Cedric Benson, who is entering the final year of his deal. I got the sense Lewis is in favor of extending Benson but isn't certain if upper management will make it happen. Keep an eye on that development.

  • Although I like both players, I would be somewhat nervous taking receiver Dez Bryant and tight end Jermaine Gresham for the simple fact they missed all or most of the 2009 season. They are obviously great players but will be expected to make an instant impact as high draft picks. What if rust is an issue early and they get off to a slow start next season?

So there are my random, leftover combine notes. Hopefully there was something there for everyone.

By the way, I also provide thoughts, notes and observations like these on our rapidly growing AFC North Twitter account. Feel free to join here and check it out.