The Bengals’ AFC North foes have trimmed down to their respective rosters to the required 53-man lists for Week 1 of the season. There have been some notable moves made to get there, and that’s what we’re taking a look at now for the Ravens, Steelers and Browns.
Here are some of the more notable moves around the AFC North. For all things Bengals, you can head here.
The Baltimore Ravens
- Breshad Perriman, Wide receiver
- Carl Davis, Defensive tackle
- Bronson Kaufusi, Defensive end
- Nico Siragusa, Guard
- Darren Waller, Tight end
- Kamalei Correa, Linebacker (traded earlier this week)
Aside from this being a group with probably the hardest names to spell of all time, these players were all players that were drafted by the Ravens. Perriman is a special cut. It is always noteworthy when a first-round pick gets cut.
That is unless you are the Browns and it has more or less become part of the process. Perriman is actually the first first-round pick to be let go before he could finish his rookie contract. This only solidifies his bust status as he was never able to make an impact for the Ravens. Baltimore was hoping he could be their new Torrey Smith, but that just never ended up being the case.
The cuts from the Ravens represent a purge from recent draft classes. The Ravens currently have 12 rookies on their roster, which is pretty substantial. Offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley is the only remaining pick from the first three rounds of the 2016 draft, and the Ravens only have four players remaining from the 2015 draft.
Neither draft is about to go down as a favorite draft for many teams, but it is clear the Ravens had some pretty big misses.
Most surprising player kept: Robert Griffin III, Quarterback
Given how well Lamar Jackson played at times during the preseason, it seemed like Griffin was auditioning for a backup job elsewhere. However, it seems the Ravens see some value in keeping Griffin, at least for the moment.
A growing trend for the NFL is the idea that you can never have too many quarterbacks. How often have we seen a team lose their quarterback, and suddenly their season is lost?
The Ravens may be hoping one of those teams or a team with an under performing quarterback come knocking around the trade deadline, so they can get something for Griffin instead of just cutting him.
I mean, if AJ McCarron gets traded for a fifth round pick, then the Ravens should be able to get something for Griffin.
The Cleveland Browns
- Carl Nassib, Defensive end
- Corey Coleman (traded a few weeks ago but still)
- Shon Coleman, Offensive lineman
- Nate Orchard, Defensive lineman
- Devon Cajuste, Tight end (On this list for Hard Knocks reasons)
Shon Coleman was a strange move, but after following the team essentially giving Corey Coleman to the Bills, it seems about right. Maybe the Browns just hate players with the name Coleman. Both were projected to play fairly large roles for the Browns this season, but now each will be playing somewhere else. Although, the Bills did eventually cut Corey Coleman, so maybe Cleveland made a good call there.
Nassib showed a little bit of promise early in his career, but he never really improved after that. He only had 5.5 sacks in two years with the team while playing around half of the defensive snaps his rookie season and then around 60 percent last year. Nassib was a failed third-round pick from 2016.
That was the same draft Cleveland decided they were too good for Carson Wentz, which is looking like a bigger and bigger mistake. Now, the only player left from the first three rounds of that draft is pass rusher Emmanuel Ogbah.
Biggest keep: Desmond Harrison, Offensive tackle
It isn’t really that surprising Harrison stayed once the major cuts started, but it is more of the team saying they believe in this undrafted rookie more than Coleman, who was a third-round pick in 2016. The Browns still don’t really know who will be starting along the left side.
The biggest domino to fall is whether the team will play Joel Bitonio at left tackle or guard. If he sticks inside at guard, then we could see Harrison starting at left tackle, a spot many felt Coleman would’ve been filling before training camp and OTAs started.
- Landry Jones, Quarterback
- Fitzgerald Toussaint, Running back
- Eli Rogers, Wide Receiver (PUP list)
Jones is easily the biggest name released. He had been Ben Roethlisberger’s backup for most of his career, and he enjoyed some mild success filling in for the Pro Bowl quarterback. He clearly wasn’t viewed as the future by the Steelers, through.
They drafted Joshua Dobbs in the fourth round of 2017 and Mason Rudolph in the third round this season. It looks like these two will be battling out to see who Pittsburgh’s successor will be at quarterback.
The one note on Rogers is on top of being placed on the PUP list, which means he can’t play until after Week 6, he also is suspended for the first game of the season. This means Rogers won’t be eligible until Week 9 since the Steelers bye week is Week 7. That means we will see an awful lot of rookie wide receiver James Washington.
Most surprising keeps: Backup running backs
Le’Veon Bell hasn’t been clear about when he will return to the team, and there’s less than one week before the Steelers’ first game. This year, the Steelers kept three other running backs, but Toussaint wasn’t one of them.
James Conner, Jaylen Samuels and Steven Ridley all made the team. They are a nice mix of styles, as Conner is a big rumbling back, Samuels is a threat catching the ball, and Ridley is a nice in between the tackles runner as well.
It is clear the Steelers are gearing up just in case Bell’s absence is extended any longer than they are comfortable with.
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