Around The AFC North: Rolando McClain's Contract With Ravens, Pittsburgh's Sanders Situation

Jared Wickerham

We take a quick spin around the division to see the goings-on with the Bengals most bitter rivals.

The Bengals aren't the only ones who have had a busy week. Cincinnati has been occupying themselves with visits of both rookies and free agents, as well as rounding out some contracts with players. Even though the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers have had their own salary cap woes, they still have been in the news for various reasons.

Earlier in the week, the Ravens signed former Raiders bust Rolando McClain. He is set to be an inside linebacker in the 3-4 defensive scheme and is looking for a career renaissance. If you remember, the Bengals reportedly kicked around the idea of trading for McClain before he went through waivers.

Well, the magic of Ravens Ozzie Newsome continues, as the deal they struck with McClain is a team-friendly one. Per Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun, McClain's deal is for one year with a base salary of $700,000 and a $400,000 playing time incentive built into the contract. For those scoring at home, that's a $1.1 million deal. Not a bad price for a former top-ten pick that could have a renaissance in a quality franchise.

+The news around the Steelers isn't nearly as positive. Earlier this week, the New England Patriots signed Pittsburgh restricted free-agent wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders to an offer sheet. The Steelers have until just before Sunday at midnight to match the offer and retain him. This comes after the Steelers lost their big-play wide receiver, Mike Wallace, to the Dolphins.

As a reaction to the situation, the Steelers' only remaining receiving threat, Antonio Brown, spoke to the media recently about Sanders and the team's stance.

"I don't think that they (the Steelers) really like guys that don't do things their way. There's a certain professional way that they go about their business and I don't think that they make decisions with guys that don't go about things the way that they should. So, in my opinion, I don't think he'll (Sanders) come back. It's just not smart to get a guy for one year at a price that you can get a guy for four years."

Brown may be right, as there have been no indications that the Steelers are planning to retain Sanders. Even if they do, Pittsburgh figures to be loading up at the position in this year's draft.

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