Morning take: Mack deal close?

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Here are the most interesting stories Friday in the AFC North:

  • The Cleveland Browns and first-round pick Alex Mack are getting close to a multiyear deal, according to Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Morning take: The Browns begin training camp for first-year players this morning and currently have zero first-day picks signed in the debut camp of coach Eric Mangini. But it appears that status can change at any moment.

  • Gene Collier and Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette have dueling Ben Roethlisberger columns Friday, providing their thoughts on whether the quarterback's civil suit will become a distraction for the defending champs.

Morning take: I have to side with Collier on this one. The Steelers do have a distraction on their hands. But an even bigger issue will be how well the Steelers handle this ongoing situation as a team moving forward.

  • Jamison Hensley of the Baltimore Sun writes Ravens coach John Harbaugh will not put a deadline on the return of veteran receiver Derrick Mason.

Morning take: With one foot already out the door, it is probably in Baltimore's best interest not to pressure Mason. A forced decision could lead to Mason sticking with his game plan instead of contemplating a change of heart.

Morning take: For Bengals fans, the out-of-date photo caption is ironic with happier days between two players. Check it out.