Sunday, 20 March 2016

AFC North news update

Article by Gordon Dedman

Baltimore’s Tray Walker was tragically killed in a dirt bike accident last week. “We are grieving the loss of a special young man,” tweeted the team. Walker was drafted last year and played eight games.

AFC North Free Agency Moves

As everyone suspected and predicted, Johnny Manziel is currently team less after the Browns let him go. Manziel still wants to play in the NFL, but with the pictures of him partying that continuously appear in Social Media just mean the teams prepared to take a risk with the enigma are diminishing. With a potential domestic violence case hanging over him, Manziel will find enthusiasm to sign him fading.

Cleveland was not the only team to face player problems after Pittsburgh discovered they will lose Martavis Bryant for the year for his second substance abuse violation. Bryant will be remembered for the unbelievable head over heels reception he made in the playoffs against Cincinnati. Bryant is another talented player that feels the need to self-destruct.

The Steelers also lost Heath Miller, but for the right reasons with his decision to retire. Miller missed only eight games in eleven seasons and is the team’s all-time leader for tight ends in receptions (592), receiving yards (6,569) and receiving touchdowns (45).
Image courtesy of Gordon Dedman

Ben Roethlisberger often referred to Miller as his greatest teammate and he will be difficult to replace. The Steelers wasted little time in an attempt to address the loss by signing Ladarius Green, a free agent who spent four years in San Diego.

Another San Diego player moving east is safety Eric Weddle. “I couldn’t be more excited and pumped to be a part of a championship organisation who wanted me from day one,” said Weddle about joining the Ravens. He left his nine-year career with the Chargers in not so friendly terms which explain his enthusiasm for Baltimore.

Former Steeler Mike Wallace was also signed by the Ravens after spending two years in Miami and last season with the Vikings.

The Bengals took a knock with the loss of two able receivers from their offense. Marvin Jones went to Detroit and Mohamed Sanu was signed by Atlanta. Sanu saw less playing time last season so his $32 million five year contract was a great incentive to switch to the Falcons. Jones signed with the Lions on similar terms. 

Safety Taylor Mays will be returning to the Bengals after spending a year in Oakland where he played in 14 games. Mays is suspended for the first four games of this season for substance abuse.

Players moving to the AFC North

Eric Weddle FS from San Diego to Baltimore
Mike Wallace WR from Minnesota to Baltimore
Benjamin Watson TE from New Orleans to Baltimore

Taylor Mays S from Oakland to Cincinnati

Demario Davis ILB from New York Jets to Cleveland
Justin Tuggle ILB from Houston to Cleveland
Rahim Moore FS from Houston to Cleveland
Alvin Bailey G from Seattle to Cleveland

Ladarius Green TE from San Diego to Pittsburgh
Ryan Harris T from Denver to Pittsburgh

AFC North compensatory draft picks:

Baltimore 4th round – 132 overall.
Baltimore 4th round – 134 overall.
Baltimore 6th round – 209 overall.

Cleveland 4th round – 138 overall.
Cleveland 5th round – 172 overall.
Cleveland 5th round – 173 overall.
Pittsburgh 6th round – 220 overall.

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