The offseason seems endless—that is, until it actually ends, which it did this week with the start of NFL training camps and the most dedicated round of preparation for the 2017 season. With it comes a more than fair share of news, and the Cleveland Browns’ counterparts in the AFC North have not disappointed. Here’s the biggest and latest for the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals.
Baltimore Ravens: With starting quarterback Joe Flacco out for at least three to six weeks “with a disc issue in his back,” the Baltimore Ravens are weighing their options at the backup position. Currently, Ryan Mallett is the Ravens’ No. 2, but it appears that the team may want to upgrade their backup spot. One option? Colin Kaepernick, of whom Ravens head coach John Harbaugh spoke highly before Thursday’s practice.
Per Logan Levy at Baltimore Beatdown, Harbaugh said that “I have known Colin really through my brother [Jim Harbaugh] for many years and we’ve talked. I got to know him really well when [Jim Harbaugh’s San Francisco 49ers] scrimmaged here and he and I have been talking throughout the summer a number of times.” He also said that adding Kaepernick to Baltimore’s roster is not out of the question, saying of the free agent and former Niner that “he is a really good football player and I believe he is a really good person.”
For what it’s worth, longtime Baltimore Sun Ravens beat reporter Mike Preston thinks this could lead to Kaepernick getting a contract:
John Harbaugh seldom talks about available free agents. Colin Kaepernick could be a Ravens QB soon.— Mike Preston (@MikePrestonSun) July 27, 2017
Also: Ravens center John Urschel officially retired from the NFL on Thursday. Matthew Cohen has all the details; Urschel will continue to work on his doctorates degree in mathematics, which he’ll earn from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Jeff Hartman at Behind the Steel Curtain is keeping tabs on all of the Pittsburgh Steelers players reporting for training camp, and one who has yet to arrive—and who is not expected to arrive—is running back Le’Veon Bell. Bell, who was given a $12.12 million franchise tag for the 2017 season and did not come to an agreement with the Steelers on a long-term deal, could theoretically sit out of the team’s entire camp if he so chooses. That’s not sitting well with Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, who has been trying him to woo Bell back to the flock via social media pleas.
Also: Steelers wide receiver Sammie Coates underwent a knee scope on the eve of training camp—apparently his second of the offseason—and Hartman breaks down just what it means for the team’s biggest positional battle of the summer.
Cincinnati Bengals: The Cincinnati Bengals’ 2017 first-round draft pick, wide receiver John Ross, will miss time both in training camp and in the preseason writes Cincy Jungle’s Jason Marcum. Ross underwent offseason shoulder surgery and was also forced to miss OTAs because of Washington’s quarters curriculum. Ross has not been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list, though Rebecca Tobak notes that the Non-Football Injury list is a possibility for him; that designation could come on Friday.
Also: Patrick Judis reports that Bengals cornerback Adam Jones has chosen not to appeal his one-game suspension, handed down as a result of a violation of the NFL’s personal conduct policy stemming from a January arrest and conviction on a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge.