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Around the AFC North (3/11): Bengals Look at Brandon Saine, Bulger's Market

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In this morning's edition of Around the AFC North, we take a look at the Bengals showing some interest in an OSU running back, whether Steelers fans are interested in bringing back free agent quarterback Dennis Dixon, and a rehash of the status of Ravens backup quarterback Marc Bulger.

Cincinnati Bengals: Looking at RB Brandon Saine

Over at Cincy Jungle, they mention that the team has shown interest in Ohio State running back Brain Saine after a good showing at the combine:

One of Ohio States two running backs from the 2010 season, Brandon Saine has caught the eye of some NFL teams, including the Bengals, largely due to his combine 40-yard dash time, which was 4.43 seconds. According to the Dayton Daily news, Saine had an "impromptu meeting" with Jim Anderson, the Bengals running back coach.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Taking a Look at Free Agent Dennis Dixon

Over at Behind the Steel Curtain, Michael Bean wonders whether the team should try to re-sign quarterback Dennis Dixon. Dixon has a chance to shine at the start of the 2010 season while Ben Roethlisberger was suspended, but an injury killed that opportunity and Charlie Batch played instead.

You can't figure that the Steelers will face the same sort of unique circumstances at the QB position in 2011, which makes the choice of who to keep behind Roethlisberger a bit tricky. Do you roll with Byron Leftwich who has a year left on his contract, and then have Charlie Batch serve as the emergency No. 3 option? Do you have Leftwich and Dixon battle it out for the backup spot and cut the loser of the camp competition? Surely you don't keep all four around, but is there a way to keep Batch in the fold without designating any sort of spot for him officially unless he's needed?

Baltimore Ravens: Marc Bulger Still Expected to be a Hot Commodity

I brought this up a couple of months ago, and Jason La Canfora recently talked about just how how of a commodity free agent quarterback Marc Bulger might be:

Sources tell NFL Network's Jason La Canfora that free agent Marc Bulger looked "excellent" in practices as the Ravens' backup last year. "The ball never hit the ground," the spies tell La Canfora.

This is the type of situation where I'm not sure if the pre- or post-free agency period will help or hurt Bulger. Does a team jump right on Bulger if free agency begins today an give him a payday? Do teams jump on him if free agency is after the draft and they didn't get a quarterback? Do teams draft a quarterback in fear that they can't guarantee they'll be able to get a guy like Bulger? This is the type of thing that can really make the draft interesting this year, because I think Bulger could work really well for a team like Arizona.