Around The AFC North: Steelers Looking At Delmas, Browns' New G.M. Making Plans, Ravens And Rice

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

We take a spin around the Bengals' division with some interesting bits of news surrounding rival squads.

+ Over the past handful of years, the Pittsburgh Steelers had one of the best safety tandems in the game with Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark. More recently though, these two have not been as effective as the team would like, be it from injury or increasing age. Be that as it may, the black and yellow are looking at a solid veteran safety on the market. With Polamalu's evolving role with the club, Pittsburgh wants a player who can be effective in either the strong or free safety positions.

On Monday, Ian Rapoport of The NFL Network tweeted that former Lions safety Louis Delmas is visiting the club. Delmas was a somewhat surprising cut by Detroit, given that he is relatively young and just signed a new deal with them last offseason. Delmas avoided injury issues of his own to play in all 16 games last season and totaled two sacks and three interceptions. He also had eight passes defensed and 64 total tackles.

+ Ravens running back Ray Rice had a rough Valentine's Day when he and his fiancee reportedly had an altercation in an Atlantic City casino. It isn't quite the way that fans wanted to see him start the 2014 season, given his lackluster performance in 2013. Still, it sounds like the Baltimore front office is lending their support to Rice in light of both aspects.

"When I left my office 20 minutes ago -- and (coach) John (Harbaugh) had probably been in there 15 minutes before then -- Ray Rice was still a big part of what we plan to do in 2014," Newsome told reporters Monday during a news conference to announce the four-year contract extension of pass rusher Terrell Suggs.

+ Two big-name free agents that were with the Cleveland Browns are set to hit the market next month. Safety T.J. Ward and center Alex Mack are arguably the best soon-to-be-available players at their respective positions, but they might not ever be around for the having. According to Tony Grossi with ESPN Cleveland, new G.M. Ray Farmer and new head coach Mike Pettine are making these two player top priorities.

Though both, especially Ward sound like they want to be back, it could be expensive to keep them. They will only be able to franchise one of them if they decide to go that route, and one-year deals for each will be pricey. Per Grossi, Ward would have to be paid over $8 million on a franchise deal and Mack would be just north of $11 million. Undoubtedly, the Browns will try and work out long-term deals first before resorting to that route.

+ Another interesting note out of the Browns' facilities is Farmer's proclamation that he says he knows which quarterback he will want for the Browns at the moment. Some thought that Manziel would definitely be their guy, but that might not be the case with the recent front office shakeup.

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