NFL training camps are opening in just one week’s time, and the Cleveland Browns’ rivals in the AFC North are making their final preparations for the most intensive practice period of the offseason. But they are also making news; here are this week’s latest headlines for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens.
Pittsburgh Steelers: The Pittsburgh Steelers were not able to get a long-term deal done with running back Le’Veon Bell before Monday’s deadline, which means that Bell will have to play out the 2017 season on the franchise tag, worth $12.12 million for the year. Behind the Steel Curtain’s Jeff Hartman takes a look at which other Steelers players could be in line for new contracts now that the Bell negotiations are forced to stall until 2018.
Also: Steelers rookie running back James Conner has the top-selling jersey among first-year players according to a survey by Dick’s Sporting Goods, via Bryan Anthony Davis. Cleveland Browns first-round Myles Garrett came in at No. 2.
Cincinnati Bengals: Cincy Jungle’s Scott Schulze has a bold prediction: That Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap ends the season with a top-three sack total. Last year, Dunlap had eight sacks on the season, but finished 2015 with 13.5, or the fourth-most in the league.
Also: Jason Marcum profiles Bengals rookie Jake Elliott, the first kicker the team has drafted since Neil Rackers in 2000.
Baltimore Ravens: Vasilis Lericos of Baltimore Beatdown predicts the Baltimore Ravens’ sack distribution for the 2017 season. Last year, the defense totaled 31 as a whole, with linebacker Terrell Suggs leading the way with eight. Will Suggs, or someone else, reach the quarterback the most often this year?
Also: Former Baltimore Ravens wide receiver and current free agent has a visit with a mystery team on Sunday. Kyle P. Barber wonders: Could it be the Ravens?