Morning take: Cedric Benson update

Here are the most interesting stories Thursday in the AFC North:

  • The attorneys for Cincinnati Bengals running back Cedric Benson says they will fight the assault charge and are willing to explain the situation to interested teams.

Morning take: Unfortunately for Benson, time is not on his side. Free agency is set to begin soon, and teams like the Bengals will have to decide whether to invest millions in Benson with a legal case still pending.

  • Is Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger comparable to Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts?

Morning take: Not in terms of numbers and quarterbacking styles. Manning is very conventional, while Roethlisberger plays a backyard brand of football. But both are effective and won three combined Super Bowls.

  • Baltimore Ravens corner and pending free agent Chris Carr wants a starting role if he returns.

Morning take: Right now there's a three-way battle for two slots between Jimmy Smith, Lardarius Webb and Domonique Foxworth, who are all under contract. If Carr wants to start again he may have to look elsewhere in free agency.

Morning take: Shea replaces longtime Browns employee Jerry Butler, who did a commendable job in that role. Cleveland has made a lot of changes in the second year under president Mike Holmgren.