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State of AFC North: Perriman debut, Harrison cleared; clearing house in Cleveland

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Cleveland makes a few statements on cutting down to 75 players. Breshad Perriman will finally make his debut this week. The Steelers are keeping Antonio Brown happy by moving some money around.

NFL: Preseason-Detroit Lions at Baltimore Ravens Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the final week of preseason, each team cut down their roster to 75 players. For the Ravens, it is more about who wasn’t put on the Physically Unable to Perform list given the number of their players recovering from injury. The Steelers placed one offseason acquisition on the PUP list. The Browns took the most surprising route to 75 by cutting several veteran players.

Baltimore Ravens

Breshad Perriman set to make NFL debut

The moment is finally coming. Perriman is about to finally take the field in a Ravens uniform. Perriman was drafted in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He was drafted to help ease the loss of Torrey Smith who stretched the field for the Ravens for years.

The absence of a field stretching receiver was sorely missed last season, especially after the loss of Steve Smith Sr. This offseason, the Ravens made sure to find an insurance plan by adding Mike Wallace.

Perriman has had a terrible time with injuries since entering the NFL. Knee injuries have kept him from taking the field until this point. Hopefully for Perriman’s sake this has all just been a footnote to a healthy career going forward.

Justin Forsett is 100% healthy

Forsett has appeared to make a full recovery, and he is ready to take the field again. Forsett also feels like since he didn’t have the initial high workload of most backs coming into the NFL, his career can last longer. He also talked about how being an older player has benefited his late burst onto the NFL scene.

“The game is just so much slower than it was when I was 24,” Forsett told Pro Football Talk. “Coming into the league, your head’s kinda spinning and things are happening fast on and off the field. Now I kind of got a little more wisdom underneath me and the game has slowed down and I can anticipate things before they happen.”

Forsett has a point. He didn’t have a lot of carries early in his career, but his body has still been aging. It might hit him a year or two later because he has less tread on his tires. It will hit though. It may already be hitting.

Either way Forsett’s return is fortunate given that Kenneth Dixon, the impressive looking rookie running back, will miss four to six weeks with a torn MCL. The Ravens have done plenty to plan for life without Forsett as Javorius Allen and Terrence West have both performed at a high level this preseason.

Cleveland Browns

Browns trade Andy Lee to Panthers

We know how much Browns fans love their specialists. We all remember their love fest with Phil Dawson. Now the Browns have traded one of the more talented punters in the league to Carolina. The Browns sent Lee and a seventh round pick to the Panthers for a fourth round pick in 2018 and their punter, Kasey Redfern.

The trade probably had something to do with this play where Lee let’s the returner pass by without much effort to even reroute him. Though, the Browns are claiming it did not.

To be fair to Lee, it was just a preseason game. Bengals fans know better than anyone that sometimes it is just better to let guys who are important to the team leave the tackling to defenders.

Paul Kruger cut by Browns

Paul Kruger was brought in by the Browns for the 2013 season. He played three seasons with Cleveland accumulating 18 sacks. He had 11 sacks in 2014, a career high, but last year he only had 2.5 sacks.

The move is slightly surprising given his low cap hit, just more than $2 million, and the fact Cleveland’s defense is horrendous. Kruger was one of the few remaining veteran voices in the defensive locker room that is filled with young players. Kruger has since signed a deal with the Saints.

Browns release K’Waun Williams following injury dispute

Recently Williams and the Browns organization got into it over an ankle injury. An injury the Browns doctors potentially diagnosed incorrectly. Williams told the team he had to sit out a preseason game because his ankle was still bothering him. The Browns either didn’t believe him or didn’t understand, but the Browns said he told the team he didn’t want to play. When Williams took exception to this he was suspended two games. After seeing a specialist it turned out Williams was correct that he indeed need surgery for is ankle.

The Browns still ended up releasing Williams who was claimed off waivers by Chicago, but he failed his physical due to his ankle injury.

Cleveland cut Austin Davis

In one of the least surprising moves, the Browns released former starting quarterback Davis. Since the Browns couldn’t find a taker for Josh McCown, Davis’s fate seemed to be getting cut. There is little reason for a team to hold onto four quarterbacks.

Davis was quickly brought into Dallas for a workout, but the team didn’t give Davis a deal.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers keep Antonio Brown happy

Brown was in a frustrating situation, clearly proving he deserved more money than he was getting paid. If it was bothering him, he did a good job of keeping his mouth shut. Brown is one of the best receivers in the NFL, but he wasn’t paid nearly close to top receiver money.

The Steelers rewarded his silence by restructuring his contract to bump his salary up over the desirable $10 million dollar per season mark. They did this by taking four million dollars from his salary for next season and putting it in this year’s salary. The Steelers also promised Brown an extension next offseason because they aren’t dumb enough to let an elite receiver get close to free agency.

NFL clears James Harrison of any wrong doing

Finally, it is over. We don’t have to hear Harrison complain about the NFL forcing him to talk about PED allegations anymore. It was almost an obvious decision by the NFL, but apparently the league had to flex their muscles since Harrison tried to make them look bad.

The Al Jazeera report that accused Harrison and other players of using performance enhancing drugs has long been rescinded. It was widely criticized as well before hand for having little (to no) proof to support the claims. The NFL also saw little evidence, but that hasn’t stopped them before.

Ladarius Green put on PUP list to get roster down to 75

Green was brought in this offseason to fill the void of Heath Miller retiring. Whether it has been recovering from an ankle injury or headaches, Green hasn’t been able to come off the PUP list.

Now Green will miss at least the first six week of the season because he was put on regular season PUP list. He will be eligible to return after Week 6. Until then Jesse James will handle the tight end duties for Pittsburgh until Green can make his way back onto the field.