By TPR Staff

Baltimore Ravens

With the recent long-term deals made with Texans running back Arian Foster and the Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch, this had led many to believe that the market is now set to get a deal done with Ravens star running back Ray Rice. He was franchise tagged last week and with the similar numbers between Rice and Foster, they now have a negotiating point to go from. In comparison over the past two years, Foster rushed for 2,840 yards while averaging 4.7 yards per carry. In 32 games during that span, Rice ran for 2,584 yards while averaging 4.3 yards a carry. Foster had 119 receptions for 1,221 yards while Rice had 139 receptions for 1,260 yards. Unless the wanting Adrian Peterson money is true, expect a similar deal to get done.

On Monday, the team terminated the contract of cornerback Dominique Foxworth. His release came three days after the Ravens cut cornerback Chris Carr and wide receiver Lee Evans giving the team more than $14.5 million in combined salary cap relief.

Cincinnati Bengals

Closely after the news that the Bengals would franchise tag kicker Mike Nugent, the team announced that they have reached an extension with fullback Chris Pressley for two more years. Time, however, seems to be running out with free agent safety Reggie Nelson who can hit the market next Tuesday.

As far as Nugent goes, the Bengals have a rough history with the franchise tag, as the past three players they’ve chosen to use it on have left the following season. He set franchise records for points (132) and field goals (33) in 2011.

Cleveland Browns

I’m not sure who is to believe in the ongoing Peyton Hillis saga, but it just continues to get weirder every day. After reports of him saying he’s considering a career with the CIA, he fired his third agent in his career. However, news today is that he’s planning to bring one of the former agent’s back into the fold in Jimmy Sexton. General Manager Tom Heckert said last week that the Browns would try to re-sign Hillis, though money will be a deciding factor.

Depending on who you ask, Baylor standout and top NFL prospect Robert Griffin III might not be running wild in The Dog Pound next season. A few days ago a source with St. Louis claimed that the Browns are not willing at this point to include their second draft pick of the first round, the 22nd overall selection, in a potential trade with the Rams. But today, Browns GM Tom Heckert denied the validity of those rumors and stated that “You never say never.”

Pittsburgh Steelers

It’s a time for change in Steel Town as Pittsburgh has said goodbye to long-time franchise icons Hines Ward and James Farrior over the past week. It’s a period that loyal fans are calling the “March Massacre” that also saw Aaron Smith and Chris Kemoeatu released. For the moment, the team appears to be done shedding salary.

With the decision not to apply the franchise tag to breakout wide receiver star Mike Wallace, could be in another uniform in 2012. These are the kinds of things that happen when a team is in salary cap hell. Remember that next time you get angry that your team isn’t going crazy on the free agent market. With a first-round tender, Wallace is guaranteed $2.7 million, and allow him to negotiate with other teams. The Steelers have the right to match any offer, but are still believed to be in danger of losing Wallace if he’s offered a deal that pays him $12 million or more in 2012. The Steelers would receive a first-round pick as compensation if Wallace signs an offer they decide not to match. Keep an eye on the Ravens and Pats.

Keep an eye out for AFC North division roundups every other Thursday on The Pigskin Report




Filed under: AFC North

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