The NFL combine begins Wednesday, and Kevin Seifert, Paul Kuharsky and Bill Williamson will represent our blog network at Indianapolis this year. I will be providing my take on any AFC North-related news and comments that come out of the combine. The weekly chat returns after a one-week hiatus. All the fun kicks off at 2 p.m. Now that's all set, here is your wake-up call ...
RAVENS: The Ravens are raising ticket prices by an average of 10 percent per ticket, according to The Baltimore Sun. This marks the Ravens' first increase in four seasons. Tickets will now range from $62 to $140 for all seats not in the club or suite level. A team spokesman said this spike is not related to the Super Bowl and it had already been planned. “Our ticket price increase is always related to player cost," said Kevin Byrne, the vice president of public relations. "There’s always spending what is necessary to field a championship-caliber team.” In other words, someone's got to pay for Joe Flacco's contract.
BENGALS: Wide receiver Mohamed Sanu is running routes after being cleared in early February, according to the team's official website. Sanu missed the past six games of a promising rookie season due to a stress fracture in his left foot. "It feels good. I've been working out and running," Sanu said. "I've been running routes for a while and it feels good." If his recovery remains on schedule, Sanu has to be considered the favorite to start opposite A.J. Green this season. In his final three games before the injury, Sanu caught 11 passes including four for touchdowns.
STEELERS: The Steelers have begun contract talks with soon-to-be free agent Larry Foote, the inside linebacker told a local Pittsburgh radio station. "I guess it’s a money thing right now," Foote said, via The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I’ll know sometime in March what my future will be." Foote, who turns 33 in June, led the Steelers with 113 tackles (according to team statistics) in his first season replacing James Farrior. He added four sacks and two forced fumbles. The Steelers don't have much cap room, but Foote would be inexpensive to retain. According to the paper, Foote has said he would play for the Steelers or no one else in 2013.
BROWNS: When it comes to trying to re-sign kicker Phil Dawson, Vic Carucci of the team's official website believes the Browns will need to assess a potential long-term investment on the basis of how many strong years he has ahead and on other investments they might make in future players they would want to retain or the free-agent market. "The bottom line is that re-signing Dawson might not very well be the slam dunk that many of us think," Carucci wrote. "I’m not saying it won’t get done, but it will present some challenges." My guess is Dawson ends up in San Francisco or Houston.