The Browns continue to add chapters to the Johnny Manziel saga, but the Ravens and Steelers are more focused on how they can improve their teams this offseason. They might even consider stealing a page or two from this year'sSuper Bowl champion, the Denver Broncos who effectively utilized free agency to their advantage.
- 11 Ravens set to hit free agency
- Ravens should return to defensive roots
- Could the Ravens trade back in the draft?
The Ravens have done quite well for themselves in the draft with picks deep in each round, so their position with an early draft pick is fairly uncharted waters. Last week the idea of the Ravens getting either Jalen Ramsey or Joey Bosa was explored because of the possibility of two quarterbacks being selected within the five picks prior to their own.But now, let's take a look at what could happen if that doesn't play out. What will the Ravens do if they are sitting there with Ramsey and Bosa already selected?
They will just return to familiar territory and trade back. The Ravens have built their franchise on knowing where they need to be in the draft to select a certain player. The question then becomes who will the Ravens take if they trade back? It obviously depends how far back they travel, but a few possible candidates include TCU wide receiver Josh Doctson, and EKU edge rusher Noah Spence.
In my mind Doctson was easily a security blanket to help quarterback Trevone Boykin flourish as a passer. Boykin also seemed to agree, saying Doctson was a security blanket for quarterbacks. When in trouble Joe Flacco could trust that the pass heaved in the air downfield could either be hauled in, or boxed away from a cornerback attempting to steal it away. Cornerbacks in the NFL are going to be much stronger and harder to win against, but if Doctson can dedicate himself to bulking up, expect him to start reeling in more quality receptions, and hit the highlight reel in 1 on 1 situations.
I'd lean more towards Spence. The Ravens have Breshad Perriman returning (showing up?) after missing all of his rookie season, and even with Terrell Suggs returning, the Broncos just showed everyone you can never have too many pass rushers.
- Browns LB Armonty Bryant indicted on felony drug charges
- Browns lied about Johnny Manziel's concussion
- Super Bowl 50 MVP lends support to Johnny Manziel
- Browns fill out coaching staff
I can not wait for Manziel to be out of the news. Not as much as the Browns can't wait to cut him, but I'd say it's pretty close. It was surprising that Von Miller, fresh off becoming Super Bowl 50's MVP, was advocating for Manziel early this week.
I Love you fam! Grind, get back to Johnny all the ags know and love, Grind bro, 2yrs ago they counted me out, 2yrs frm now you can do the same!! Support no matter what! #love @jmanziel2
Miller would know better than anyone. In 2013, he was suspended for four-game for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy and then, that suspension was increased to six games when he unsuccessfully attempted to corrupt the NFL's drug-testing program with the help of a urine collector, which he was caught doing. After his trouble with the league, he managed to become more mature and took responsibility for his actions. Now, he is set to get rewarded quite handsomely for it. Like Miller worked to earn back trust around the league, it's now Manziel's choice how he responds. Though, it's likely too little too late at this point and very likely he never plays in the NFL again.
Another Browns player is in the news for all the wrong reasons as linebacker Armonty Bryant is being indicted on felony drug charges. He was pulled over while riding in a vehicle driven by former Browns player De'Ante Saunders, who was also indicted, for improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle.
The players were pulled over on I-71 southbound in Brook Park for going 75 mph in a 60 mph zone.
Ohio State Highway Patrol officials said Bryant was in possession of Adderall. Troopers also found a concealed handgun with no permit.
According to court documents, marijuana, oxycodone and one other gun were found in the car.
This is another black-eye early in the offseason for the Browns. Bryant, going into his fourth season with the team, registered 5.5 sacks last season and 40 tackles.
All of this comes in addition to the Browns reportedly lying about Manziel's concussion leading up to Week 17, potentially in an effort to cover up for him showing up to the team facility drunk.
- What does the future hold for DeAngelo Williams?
- Steelers great gives James Harrison some advice
- Steelers fans think team should be more active in free agency
It never fails. The beginning of the offseason is filled with articles about how every NFL team should make moves to become more like the defending champs. (Although we skipped it last year with Deflategate going on.) The Broncos built a Super Bowl winning team when they shifted their focus from offense to defense, and did that with free agency.
Jeff Hartman of Behind the Steel Curtain wrote about how the Steelers could get around their issue with the cap:
This simple financial truth will eliminate many players from considering the Steelers as a potential landing spot, but there is one factor which could lure some prospect to the Steel City. That factor? The chance of winning a Super Bowl.
Don't think for a second T.J. Ward didn't see the writing on the wall as a member of the Cleveland Browns. He wanted to win. The same could be said about DeMarcus Ware with the Dallas Cowboys. Many players, especially those entering their golden years of their careers, will take less money for the chance to win a Super Bowl, and in 2016 the Steelers will be primed for another postseason run.
Whether free agents choose to take a discount for a chance at a ring with the Steelers remains to be seen.