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State of AFC North: Myles Garrett sends warning to Browns; Lardarius Webb re-signs with Ravens

Ben Roethlisberger ends his very serious, very real retirement scare. Lardarius Webb re-signs with the Ravens. And, Baltimore made an interesting trade.

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Last week, the Ravens were busy making deals and re-signing players they cut earlier this offseason. The Browns received a warning from the player they are likely to be drafting with the No. 1 overall pick. Ben Roethlisberger eases everyone in the football world’s minds by ending his retirement scare (sarcasm font, of course).

Baltimore Ravens

Webb re-signs with Ravens

It wasn’t too long of a separation between Lardarius Webb and the Ravens. The two sides reached an agreement for a three year deal worth up to $10.5 million almost a month after the team released him. Webb was a cap casualty earlier in the offseason, which was necessary to bring in Tony Jefferson and re-sign Brandon Williams.

Webb reportedly had other offers, but ultimately decided he’d rather be a Raven than fight for a roster spot. Webb has made quite the name for himself over the years, but more recently he was forced to change positions to safety from corner. He also lost his starting job and his number to Jefferson.

Webb returns as a bench player for the Ravens, but his versatility in the role could prove valuable, although, his health has been a concern for the last few years.

Did the Ravens get good value for Jernigan

The Ravens traded Timmy Jernigan and their compensatory third round pick for the Eagles’ earlier third round pick. The trade moved the Ravens up 25 spots in the third round. On the surface it is easy to question this move, but with the use of a fancy draft pick scale it makes it look better.

Teams use a generally agreed upon draft pick scale that assigns points to specific draft picks. Here is an example of what it looks like. The Ravens traded from the 99th spot to the 74th. In order for a team to pull off what the Ravens did they would likely have to trade two late third round picks. Essentially the Ravens got the value of a third round pick for Jernigan. Was that enough to part with him though?

The Ravens had no hope of keeping Jernigan after this upcoming season because of their cap situation. Jernigan also had a very inconsistent 2016 season. He had five sacks in the first nine games, but he didn’t record another sack for the rest of the season. However, Jernigan will only be 25 next season and should be entering the prime of his career. The Eagles took a minimal risk to bring in a player who could end up contributing right away.

Cleveland Browns

Garrett sends a warning to Cleveland

Myles Garrett is proving he isn’t afraid of straying away from the cookie cutter statements we are use to hearing and reading from draft eligible players. Garrett has already made a plea, albeit jokingly, for the Cowboys to trade up for him, and now he is warning the Browns against not drafting him.

He said he would “punish” the Browns for the next decade, and he would also knock their quarterback out every time they played.

“I’ll be a difference-maker from day one. And I’m not gonna be in any trouble. I’m just gonna make plays and bring a good atmosphere to your organization,” Garrett said, via ESPN The Magazine. “And I’m gonna start winning and winning now. And because if you don’t draft me No. 1, I will punish your team for the next 10 to 12 years. I’ll knock your QB out of the game every time we play you, and I’ll have to kick the hell out of No. 1, whoever it is.”

Obviously the consensus among most draft experts is Garrett will be the pick. It feels like even the Browns won’t screw this up, but Garrett’s comments reminded me of what one of the best players ever told a team before the draft. Peyton Manning told the Colts if they didn’t draft him he’d “come back and [their] ass.” It is always nice for a team to see that kind of drive and confidence in themselves.

Browns have reported interest in McCarron

If the Browns were to trade for a quarterback the most likely would probably be AJ McCarron. McCarron and Hue Jackson have a history together, he played fairly well in the absence of Andy Dalton and he even almost led the Bengals to their first playoff win. Obviously Jackson would love this move, and it wouldn’t necessarily cost the Browns a first round pick.

Many still are split on whether the Browns should attempt to trade for Jimmy Garoppolo, and what they should give up for him. He would still be a relative unknown coming into Jackson’s offense, but Jackson has a very good track record with quarterbacks. McCarron could be a bridge quarterback until the Browns are in position to get their franchise quarterback. That would mean the Browns aren’t sold on any quarterbacks in this year’s draft because they would likely have to give up at least their second round pick because the Bengals are very content to keep McCarron.

The Browns have so many options for who their quarterback could be next season it’s hard to keep track of them all, but McCarron provides a veteran option on the cheaper side and could make a positive and immediate impact.

Pittsburgh Steelers

3 Steelers involved in event under NFL investigation

The NFL is reviewing an event that 30 players took part in over the weekend. Three of those players included James Harrison, Arthur Moats and Maurkice Pouncey. The NFL prohibits players from being involved in any event held at a casino or by a casino, and this event, a Pro Football Arm Wrestling Championship, was held in one. Half of the $100,000 first prize was donated to charity.

@devlarratt and @jhharrison92 #profootballarmwrestling #VIPmixer

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The league claims no one sought pre-approval for the event, and if they had, they would’ve been denied. The man who put the event together says he talked with two departments in the NFL who gave them suggestions about holding the event to not violate the rules.

A violation of the league’s gambling policy will likely result in a fine, but Harrison is involved, which means we should be hearing a nice rebuttal from him for all of this.

It is still extremely ironic the NFL, who has a team moving to Las Vegas, is very against gambling and casinos. Although this is the same NFL that has gained plenty of publicity off of fantasy football for years.

Roethlisberger says he will officially return for 2017

Ben Roethlisberger has eased the minds of every Pittsburgh fan. His very serious consideration of retirement is over, for now. The Steelers quarterback will return for the 2017 season, which everyone expected, but Roethlisberger didn’t want to acknowledge.

Roethlisberger announced he was mulling retirement at the beginning of the offseason, though, no one really believed him. The Steelers have been meeting with draft eligible quarterbacks, so that when he does retire, which will likely be in the near future—just not this year—the team will be prepared.

On a serious note, an actual serious note, Roethlisberger is closer to the end than people would like to admit, but it would’ve been a shock if he would’ve called it quits after last season. The Steelers are still in a good position to compete for the Lombardi Trophy, and the club just made major monetary commitments to keep Antonio Brown long-term and Le’Veon Bell for next season. The Steelers will probably end up taking a quarterback on the first or second day of the draft to let him develop while Roethlisberger finishes out his career.