Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Free agency is just around the bend and the news is already pouring in. Check out some of the latest stories concerning the AFC North.
The 2013 free agency negotiations are off and running and that means news, rumors, and people furiously refreshing Adam Schefter's twitter page. Here is a roundup of some of the latest stories from the early in the new three-day negotiating window.
- Even with CB Dunta Robinson signing with the Chiefs late last night, the cornerback market still remains flush. This is good news for anxious Bengals fans worried about either Adam Jones or Terence Newman slipping away during free agency. So far, corners like Sean Smith, Antoine Cason, and the recently-released Chris Gamble have been receiving most of the press, while the duo of Bengals corners fly under the radar. Both Jones and Newman graded out well for 2012, according to PFF (+11.1 and +8.6, respectively), so the Bengals will likely attempt to retain their services. Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson hinted as much on twitter.
- The Steelers salary cap woes have forced them to cut veteran DE James Harrison. Harrison had two years remaining on his deal and was set to collect $6.57 million in 2013. According to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the negotiations to re-do Harrison's deal reached an impasse and neither party was inclined to give ground. "They've been talking all day and they've gotten nowhere... Neither side has come to any kind of agreement on this," added beat reporter Ed Bouchette. The move helps free up $5.105 million in cap space for the Steelers, but at the expense of one of the long-time leaders on their declining defense.
It's been a great run but all good things must come to a end. Thank you Steelers Nation I will miss you all!— James Harrison (@jharrison9292) March 9, 2013
- The Ravens are also facing a similar predicament with WR Anquan Boldin. Tight against the cap, thanks in part to Joe Flacco's bizarro-world $120.6 million contract, the Ravens are eying Boldin's $6 million salary. The team is hoping the re-do his deal to lower his cap number and Boldin has stated that he wants to remain a Raven, so the momentum is there to get a new deal done. But that March 12th deadline is looming and if nothing gets done, Baltimore will likely part ways with the wide receiver.
- According to a report from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, "One NFL source said he still expects the Browns to try to trade for New England Patriots backup Ryan Mallett." The speculation is that New England would let him go for a second round pick. If the Browns do pull the trigger, it would likely signal the end for Brandon Weeden, the 29-year-old, second-year quarterback. Before anyone gets too excited over this report, though, another source close to Bill Belichick says he won't part with his backup quarterback. So we'll believe it when we actually see it.
- Moving on to everyone's favorite topic of discussion, it seems there is "speculation in league circles that the Cardinals are waiting for" QB Carson Palmer to be released from the Raiders. Like many teams struggling to fit under the cap, the Raiders might plan on negotiating a lower cap number for the veteran quarterback, as Palmer is set to make $13 million next season. The source also suggests that the Raiders may try to trade Palmer, hoping to recoup some picks following their massively one-sided trade with the Bengals. Either way, Palmer could soon be joining the third team of his career in the coming weeks.