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Around the AFC North: Antonio Brown back in the news for all the wrong reasons

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Antonio Brown had a domestic dispute in January that he wasn’t arrested for.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Super Bowl is over, which means it is on to the 2019 season. The rest of the AFC North has a nice mix of good news and bad news this week though. Let's start with the good news.

Former Ravens safety Ed Reed makes the NFL Hall of Fame on his first ballot

Whenever you think of a first ballot Hall of Famer, you think of players who defined their era. When you think of the 80s, you think of players like Joe Montana and Dan Marino. That era wouldn’t be the same if those players weren’t around.

Ed Reed had a similar impact on the 2000s. He was pretty much the Deion Sanders of his time. He was an incredibly smart and instinctual player who gave quarterbacks fits. He was also one of the best athletes during his time. Whenever he got the ball in his hands, which was fairly often, he was a threat to take it all the way back for a score the other way.

He quickly joined Ray Lewis as one of the cornerstone pieces of that Baltimore defense that was so dominant for so long. Reed’s ability to read the quarterback really forced teams to have to account for him whenever they played. His 64 career interceptions really illustrates that.

Quite simply, if you ask someone who was the best safety during the 2000s the response will be Reed almost every time. Now, he is getting his well deserved recognition.

Cleveland is looking for any reason to feel slighted

You may have heard that Saquon Barkley was named Offensive Rookie of the Year. It makes sense. He had over 2,000 yards from scrimmage with 15 touchdowns while playing behind a terrible offensive line. He also only played about 82 percent of the team’s snaps and averaged 5.8 yards per touch. By all accounts he had an amazing season, but there are Browns fans who feel their rookie quarterback, Baker Mayfield, deserved the honor.

Mayfield broke the rookie record for passing touchdowns in a season while only starting 13 games (played in 14). That is a big accomplishment. It is a big deal that he threw 27 touchdowns and over 3,700 passing yards. Honestly, the award could’ve gone to either player, and I don’t think there would’ve been a feeling that they got it wrong.

Overall though, this feels like a growing trend with Browns fans to point out anything as everyone ganging up against them because they’re the Browns. I get it, many of them have no idea how to handle success, and maybe they’ve defaulted to not being happy unless they have a reason to be unhappy.

The fact remains, even without that award, Cleveland is sitting in a spot where it looks like they have real aspirations going into next season after finishing this past season strong. Fans should maybe focus on that for a little while instead of one award going to another very worthy candidate.

Antonio Brown keeps creating terrible headlines

Brown has been very quick to remind everyone how much he hates always having people follow him and always being in the news (as he demands a trade, posts where he works out and live streams from locker rooms after wins).

This most recent story seems to be something to keep an eye on as TMZ reports Antonio Brown was involved in a domestic dispute in January. The details are currently pretty scarce, but we do know that Brown wasn’t arrested.

Cops investigated the call of a woman made against Brown in Florida, and that is really all we know at this point. This isn’t the kind of press you want out there as you are looking for teams to try and pry you away from the Steelers.

Depending on the specific details this could even land Brown in trouble with the league depending on the type of domestic dispute it was. We did just see Kareem Hunt get cut by the Chiefs after a video of him pushing and attacking a woman surfaced during the season.

There have even been several running back needy teams who have stated they won’t be looking at the running back in free agency. If something surfaces along those lines about Brown from this case, then he may end up wondering who will even be willing to sign him instead of trade for him.

Anything at this point is speculation of course, but the Brown and Pittsburgh saga seems far from over at this point.