Around the AFC North: Offseason Notes, Free Agency, and the Draft

While the Bengals haven't been the most active team in the NFL during the first 72 hours of free agency, there has been quite a bit of activity in the rest of the AFC North.

Let's take a look and see what the Steelers, Ravens, and Browns have been doing to try and capture the AFC North title in 2012.

Cleveland Browns:

Browns Will Be Releasing Eric Steinbach - Dawgs By Nature: This move frees up a lot of cap space for the Browns to spend on other team needs...like $20 million on a certain rotating defensive lineman who used to play for the Bengals.

Cleveland Browns sign DE Frostee Rucker - Dawgs By Nature: See previous note. Rucker is a good addition to a promising Browns defense, but many fear that the Browns might have overpaid for Rucker's services.

Former Browns RB Peyton Hillis signed with Kansas City Chiefs - Dawgs By Nature: With the Cheifs' acquisition of Hillis, barring any trades like Ben Tate to the Browns, the Browns will need a player to fill the RB roster hole. A certain draft prospect out of Alabama could be the likely choice...

Baltimore Ravens:

Grubbs Signs With Saints " Baltimore Ravens Blogs: The Ravens lost one of their best offensive linemen to free agency, and to a team who also lost their best offensive lineman in free agency.

Birk Signs New Deal With Ravens " Baltimore Ravens Blogs: The Ravens took care of one of their own free agents today and re-signed one Birk to a three-year deal, pending a physical.

Nakamura Signs With Carolina " Baltimore Ravens Blogs: Although Nakamura was a back-up in the Ravens secondary (who wouldn't be to Ed Reed?), he was a solid player who the Ravens are going to miss.

Colts sign Zbikowski to three-year contract | ProFootballTalk: Same story as Nakamura: back-up and quality player, but Zbikowski can return punts and kickoffs. He is a good addition to a rebuilding Colts defense and to take over for Melvin Bullitt right away.

Pittsburgh Steelers:

DeSean Jackson Contract Seals Huge Market for Steelers WR Mike Wallace - Behind the Steel Curtain: The Steelers still haven't worked out a deal for Wallace just yet, but if Jackson's deal has any influence on Wallace's impending contract (it will), no matter how many contracts they restructure, the Steelers will not have enough money to keep him. I, for one, say: good riddance!

NT Casey Hampton Restructures Contract, Steelers Insured Against Move for Wallace - Behind the Steel Curtain: Along with players like Big Ben and lineman Willie Colon, the Steelers have restructured Casey Hampton's contract in order to have a bit of wiggle room in their cap, which is currently at about $5 million under. These are all measures to sign WR Mike Wallace to a long-term deal, but what the Steelers are able to give to him might not be enough.

Aaron Smith thanks Pittsburgh, in style | ProFootballTalk: Here at Cincy Jungle, we obviously hate the Steelers with a passion, but props are due to Aaron Smith for his classy exit from Pittsburgh this week.

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