AFC North Blog
Just one year after landing in Cleveland via a trade with the Dolphins, Devone Bess has been cut by the Browns. Bess still had two years left on his three year deal and will now enter the free agent pool.
It's not a revelation by any means, but this is nice to hear from the editor of the Bengals' official website, Geoff Hobson:
"(BenJarvus) Green-Ellis had 50 more carries last season, but (Giovani) Bernard had two more touches and, according to [Pro Football Focus], took 155 more snaps. After a spectacular NFL Rookie of the Year finalist season, Bernard is only going to get more work and no doubt is going to border on 300 touches."
Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith said earlier this week that he would like to see the team add a "move-the-chains guy" at receiver. Could Hakeem Nicks fit that bill? Well, for what it's worth, ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley wrote Saturday that Baltimore "could end up" with the soon-to-be free agent.
Nicks caught 56 passes -- none of which went for scores -- for 896 yards this season.
While one tight end is gonna have to make do with a one-year pact right now, another got some extended job security Friday. The Ravens and tight end Dennis Pitta agreed to terms on a five-year deal worth $32 million, league sources told The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson.
"I could not be more excited to remain a Baltimore Raven," Pitta said in a statement. "There is no better organization or fan base in sports. To be given the opportunity to continue my career here is incredible. This organization drafted me and has always stood by me, especially during my difficult recovery last season – and for that, I am extremely grateful."
Pitta missed all but four games this season as he rehabbed a surgically repaired right hip. He fractured and dislocated it in July. In those four games, Pitta caught 20 passes.
We know it's tough for an athlete, a competitor to call it quits. From the age of perhaps a toddler, they have been groomed, focused to reach the top of their craft. They have been praised as one of the best at what they do and lavished with many enticing things. And then, in their mid-to-late 30s, still in the prime of their actual life, they are told it's over.
Well, for Terrell Owens and Plaxico Burress, it isn't completely over. Not yet.
Let's start with T.O., who told the Associated Press last week "No doubt there's not a question that I can still play" at age 40. Owens hasn't played in an NFL regular-season game since 2010, but said he can run a 4.43 40-yard dash and play better than many NFL wideouts. However, Owens acknowledges that a comeback is unlikely, because of his media image.
"But perception, media portrayal is so negative," Owens said. "Anytime there's a rumor that a team is interested in bringing me in, there's all this media attention, and the negative things they have to say are more than the positives. It's not about what I can bring to them. It's about stuff I did 5, 10 years ago."
Burress was a guest on ESPN's Outside The Lines on Tuesday to talk about the arrest of New York Knicks guard Raymond Felton, and his own experiences with getting into trouble with a gun in New York City. At the end of the interview, host Bob Ley asked Burress, 36, if he has any football left in him.
"I believe I do," Burress said. "... I think I may go out and give it one more big push. That's just the competitor in me."
Burress last played for the Steelers in 2012. He caught three passes in four games. Burress' 2013 season was washed out by a season-ending shoulder injury in August. He is currently rehabbing and is a free agent.
You've seen the security-camera video of Ray Rice dragging his clearly unconscious fiancée out of a hotel elevator. What we haven't seen -- but what police reportedly have -- is video proof that Rice knocked her unconscious. If it is proven, MMQB.com's Peter King says Rice will likely have to pay a price.
"And regardless of the circumstances, if Rice did lay a hand on (Janay) Palmer, he'll be branded an abuser and likely face league or team discipline beach of it. And rightfully so."
It's been a tough PR week for the Baltimore Ravens. A week that's already seen the evolution of Ray Rice's domestic trouble now ends with the news that second-year wide receiver Deonte Thompson has been arrested and charged with suspicion of possession marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
The arrest occurred Friday night as the car Thompson was riding in was pulled over for not having its headlights on. Upon inspection, officers found bags containing a total of 29 grams of marijuana in a duffel bag. Police said Thompson told them that only the duffel bag was his; the other two people in the car said the drugs were theirs.
The Ravens released a statement Saturday, saying only "We are aware of the situation. We are gathering more facts. There are two sides to every story."