AFC North mailbag

Let's answer some questions from our division inbox.

Will from Nashville, Tenn., wants to know how did the Baltimore Ravens "get away with" giving up third- and fourth-round picks for receiver Anquan Boldin.

James Walker: Boldin was entering the final year of his contract with the Arizona Cardinals, Will. That drove down the price tag significantly, because this offseason was probably the last chance for Arizona to get value for him. It was smart for Baltimore to strike when the asking price was much more affordable.

Tim from Mooresville, NC, wants to know what does Pittsburgh's recent signings of Antwaan Randle El and Arnaz Battle mean for receiver Limas Sweed?

Walker: These signings should certainly send a message to Sweed. He is physically gifted but hasn't been able to put it together when given the opportunity, and now it looks like the Steelers are tired of waiting. It's early, but I would assume Randle El is Pittsburgh's fourth receiver. That leaves Battle and Sweed fighting to be the fifth receiver and possibly for a roster spot. Battle also is good on special teams, which could help his case.

Kevin from Cleveland, Ohio, wants to know if the Cleveland Browns are willing to trade down from the No. 7 pick.

Walker: I don't see that happening this year, Kevin. The Browns did that last year and already have 11 draft picks. How many do they need? This draft is very talented and a great prospect should be available at No. 7. I anticipate Cleveland using the pick.

Jake from Harrison, Ohio, writes: I was just wondering what the Cincinnati Bengals plan on doing with tailback Larry Johnson this upcoming year. Will they keep him or try to trade him to a team for a draft pick?

Walker: Johnson is an unrestricted free agent. So the Bengals cannot trade Johnson, who is free to sign with any team. Johnson is keeping all of his options open and has some visits lined up. But to get more playing time, he would have to leave Cincinnati. The Bengals like their tandem of Cedric Benson and Bernard Scott.