Every morning, grab a cup of coffee and get your AFC North wake-up call here:
The agent for quarterback Joe Flacco met with Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome and chief negotiator Pat Moriarty at team headquarters Sunday. This marks the third face-to-face meeting between the sides since the NFL combine in Feburary.
Joe Linta, Flacco's agent, didn't go into specifics about the latest round of talks but he said in a text message to The Baltimore Sun that it was a “nice visit with Pat and Ozzie. We’ll keep working.”
Flacco will receive $8.8 million in the final year of his rookie contract.
Hensley's slant: This is a positive sign because it shows that talks remain cordial between the sides. This might have been the most important meeting between them because it came after the Ravens signed running back Ray Rice, making Flacco the clear priority now. It's in the Ravens' best interest to get a deal done before February, when they would have to put a high-priced franchise tag on Flacco.
BENGALS: Left tackle Andrew Whitworth is among the veterans who support coach Marvin Lewis' ban on Twitter use by players. “Guys shouldn’t be worrying about their entertainment or their fan public so much as about the football team being successful,” Whitworth told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “They’ll get all the fans and support they want if we’re successful. We’ve got a lot of work to do as a team and the last focus we really need is guys worrying about individual stuff. We need to be worrying about how we can perform on Sundays.” Hensley's slant: Every coach hates Twitter because they can't control their players giving out information, especially when it relates to injuries. The latest example of this came Tuesday, when rookie Dre Kirkpatrick confirmed his leg injury on Twitter. It's interesting to note that Kirkpatrick has since deleted that tweet.
BROWNS: Browns cornerback Joe Haden, who knocked down a Brandon Weeden pass in team drills, warned the rookie quarterback that he's staring down his receivers."There are some things being a rookie that you have to teach him," Haden told SportstimeOhio's Training Camp Daily, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "I've just got to make sure, when he does his three-step, he doesn't just look at the receiver -- and lock on -- because that's giving me a chance to know it's coming my way and just jump the route." Hensley's slant: Limiting turnovers plays a large part in a rookie quarterback's success. Weeden threw 26 interceptions in his two seasons as Oklahoma State's starter (26 games). The Bengals' Andy Dalton, the only rookie starting quarterback in the division last season, was picked off 13 times.
STEELERS: Nose tackle Casey Hampton, who is on the Physically Unable to Perform list (PUP) after having offseason knee surgery, still plans on playing in the Sept. 9 season opener in Denver. “I just want to get it right and be right when I’m out there,” Hampton told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I don’t want to be out there hobbling, messing around. I want to be out there ready to go.” Hensley's slant: It's not a major setback that Hampton begins camp on the PUP. Hampton doesn't really need to be out there in training camp after 11 seasons in the NFL. The Steelers can use this time to get Steve McLendon and rookie Alameda Ta'amu ready for the regular season in case Hampton isn't.