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Free Agency

How the rest of the AFC North has done in free agency

While we in Cleveland bask in the afterglow of a wild start to the new league year, the rest of the AFC North was up to its own shenanigans. None of them involved trading for one of the game's most visible superstars (though a rival did lose a couple of those), but they did put pen to paper to address some needs. 

Here's a look at what the rest of the division has been up to since March 13.

Take a look at a selection of photos of new Browns wideout Odell Beckham Jr., including ones from his time with new teammate Jarvis Landry back when they both attended LSU.


The Ravens watched their league-best defense, a sum of its parts that played tremendously well in 2018, slowly get torn down, piece by piece. Gone were Za'Darius Smith (Green Bay) and Terrell Suggs (Arizona). Baltimore had already cut Eric Weddle. And perhaps the most painful of all was the departure of middle linebacker C.J. Mosley, who left for the Jets.

All the while, the Ravens stood pat. Fortunately for them, that didn't last too long. Baltimore swooped in and signed All-Pro safety Earl Thomas to replace Weddle, and then made a big-time signing when it inked running back Mark Ingram. Tight end Nick Boyle returned and cornerback Justin Bethel came over as well.

In all, those aforementioned losses are still a lot. But the damage doesn't look nearly as bad as it initially did, thanks to the additions of Thomas and Ingram. Now it's up to new general manager Eric DeCosta to nail the draft to resupply that defense.


Cincinnati elected to keep a few Bengals on the roster, retaining promising linebacker Preston Brown and tight end C.J. Uzomah, and also re-upped tackle Bobby Hart and tight end Tyler Eifert. As for outside of the organization, the Bengals snagged guard John Miller (an upgrade) and cornerback B.W. Webb.

The reactions to Cincinnati's signings were lukewarm along the banks of the Ohio River, but the keys are Brown and Miller. The latter helps shore up a two-year problem up front, while Brown gets more time to prove his worth in Cincinnati, where he had showed signs of potential before losing the rest of his season to injury.


The Steelers watched two of their three Killer B's leave at the start of the new league year (Antonio Brown via trade and Le'Veon Bell via free agency), leaving two large voids on their roster. James Conner and JuJu Smith-Schuster stand to fill those holes, but would the Steelers look elsewhere for more help?

The answer: Kind of. Pittsburgh signed Donte Moncrief to essentially fill Smith-Schuster's old role (with the assumption James Washington also improves in Year 2), retained Eli Rogers and kept veteran guard Ramon Foster. Pittsburgh also shored up its defense by reportedly agreeing to a deal with DT Dan McCullers and cornerback Steven Nelson, the latter of whom started for the Chiefs last season.

The biggest signing might end up being linebacker Mark Barron, who comes to the Steel City from Los Angeles. The hard-hitting former safety-turned-linebacker should add a punch to Pittsburgh's defense.

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