I have received a couple of notes in the AFC North mailbag about why the blog has been dominated by Ravens coverage lately. The purpose of this blog is to offer a take on news. So if a team is more newsworthy, it gets more attention.
Over the past few days, the Ravens became the first defending Super Bowl champion to start the season on the road since 2003, they lost a future Hall of Famer in Ed Reed and agreed to terms with the best free-agent pass-rusher available in Elvis Dumervil. Therefore, there are going to be more posts written about them. But there was a post on Friday when the Browns signed tight end Kellen Davis and one on Saturday when the Bengals signed returner Brandon Tate.
I hope that clears it up and we can move on to the wake-up call ...
RAVENS: Linebacker Terrell Suggs called the addition of Dumervil "awesome." Having Dumervil on the other edge will take pressure, as well as some attention, off of Suggs. "It shows we’re still in the business of winning," Suggs told The Baltimore Sun, "and we have the best [general manager] in the world.” Before reaching an agreement with Dumervil, the Ravens had a visit scheduled with former Steelers linebacker James Harrison, according to The Sun.
BENGALS: Owner Mike Brown told Cincinnati reporters that the team plans to spend cap money and intends on using it on their own players. “I think what we’re trying to do is grow in the best way possible," Brown said. “There is no single silver bullet. We’re shooting a lot of small shots. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t going to cost the same amount of money. And it doesn’t mean we aren’t going to have the best team possible.” Cincinnati has kept 11 of its own unrestricted free agents this offseason including three starters (linebacker Rey Maualuga; defensive ends Michael Johnson and Robert Geathers) and signed one free agent from another team (backup quarterback Josh Johnson).
STEELERS: The Steelers signed Bruce Gradkowski to be their backup quarterback this offseason, but they had someone else in mind, according to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette. The paper reported that the Steelers wanted Brian Hoyer until the Cardinals placed a second-round tender on him. Pittsburgh signed Hoyer last year after injuries to quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich. The Steelers released him with four weeks left in the regular season. Pittsburgh couldn't bring him back because of the tender placed by the Cardinals and coach Bruce Arians, who knows how the Steelers think after being their offensive coordinator for five years.
BROWNS: Owner Jimmy Haslam is pleased with his team's offseason moves but doesn't expect overwhelming success right away. “We’ve won 23 games in the last five years, won 14 games in the last three, so we’re not going to go 13-3 next year,” Haslam said, via The Akron Beacon Journal. “I think what I’ve stated back to Aug. 3 [during my introductory news conference] is we’re going to do this the right way. We didn’t spend all our money in free agency this year." Also, running back Trent Richardson has been sued by two women who say they were assaulted at his home last year.