Rookies from the Ravens and Browns reported to training camp today, while the Steelers full-team training camp begins this Saturday. With that in mind, we take a look around the AFC North to see what headlines are being made as the offseason comes to a close.
As Dennis Pitta attempts to bounce back from two separate hip fractures and dislocations over the past two years, he'll reportedly open 2015 on PUP and miss the first six games. He still hasn't been cleared to practice and his career remains in question.
Not having Pitta to open the year will be a tough blow, even with rookie Maxx Williams waiting to take over the starting role at tight end. Baltimore traded up in the second round to select Williams in this year's draft, and most viewed him as the top TE prospect.
Still, not having Pitta after also losing Owen Daniels this offseason leaves a lot of concern at this position with training camp opening soon.
Despite earlier reports of interest in Reggie Wayne, the Ravens will not be pursuing the 36-year-old receiver. They are in need of another veteran receiver, but Wayne may not be able to offer them anything more than a body in training camp. As of now, Steve Smith, Michael Campanaro, Kamar Aiken and Marlon Brown are Baltimore's top four receivers from last year along with first-round draft pick Breshad Perriman.
Wayne had just 64 receptions for 779 yards and two touchdowns in 2014 while dealing with an elbow injury and torn triceps in the second half of the season. He may still have something left to offer, but it looks like it won't be with Baltimore.
As Steelers players left their mandatory minicamp to enjoy their summer break, head coach Mike Tomlin gave them a final message: Show up to camp in the best physical condition possible. He's taking it seriously with everyone, including backup RB DeAngelo Williams.
The Steelers told Williams they wanted him to be under 220-pounds before training camp, a number he hasn't seen since he entered the NFL out of Memphis. Why is that important?
As of now, Williams will be the Steelers' starting RB for the first three games of the 2015 regular season while Le'Veon Bell serves his three-game suspension. In the meantime, Williams is using the help of a nutritionist to get him down to that weight.
If you play fantasy football, you should be reading Josh Norris' Rotoworld team-by-team previews for all 32 teams. His breakdown of the Steelers offers insight into their loaded WR unit, the outlook at RB, and a prediction on whether Ben Roethlisberger is in for another big year. Hint: they say the answer is yes.
The Browns and former director player of engagement Jamil Nortcutt recently parted ways. Northcutt was only in the position for 15 months but had worked with Browns GM, Ray Farmer in Kansas City with the Chiefs.
Now as it turns out, ESPN Cleveland is reporting that Northcutt was a key figure during the Browns' 2014 season, as he was a confidante of GM Ray Farmer and a thorn in the side of head coach Mike Pettine’s coaching staff. The report also says there's a "seeping rift" between coach Pettine and Farmer.
Really? Dissension and controversy within the ranks in Cleveland? Where's my shocked face when I need it...