It's 21 days until the start of free agency. It's 65 days until the draft. But, like always, you don't have to wait for the wake-up call ...
RAVENS: The team and the agent for Joe Flacco will meet this week at the NFL combine for their first contract negotiating session since August, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. The sides will either come to an agreement on a long-term deal by March 4 or the Ravens will put the franchise tag on the Super Bowl MVP. Earlier this month, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said he's "optimistic" that the team will get a long-term deal done. The Ravens and Flacco both decided to put talks on hold when an agreement couldn't be reached before the 2012 season.
BENGALS: One of the decisions facing Cincinnati in free agency is at kicker. The Bengals will likely re-sign either Mike Nugent or Josh Brown, who replaced the injured Nugent in December. Our friends at Pro Football Focus have Nugent as the third-rated kicker available in free agency and doesn't have Brown ranked in its top five. This is what PFF had to say about Nugent: "Although his field goal percentage (84.2 percent) doesn’t look great, he was perfect on kicks within 40 yards. While he is not one of the few kickers that is extremely accurate at long kicks, his average kickoff distance of 67.8 yards is the best of the free agent group, and that is a number that stays more consistent than field goal percentage."
STEELERS: Offensive tackle Mike Adams told the team's official website that he doesn't have a preference in playing on the left or right side of the line. But Adams did reveal where he eventually wants to end up. “All-Pro and Pro Bowl," Adams said. “That should be a goal for every player. Everybody should want to be great at what they do. We should all strive to be the best.” Adams started six games as a rookie last season before an ankle injury ended his season at the end of November.
BROWNS: Wide receiver isn't as big of a need for the Browns as a year ago, according to Vic Carucci from the team's official website. "But they could use at least one more difference-maker," Carucci wrote. "I’m always leery about making a big investment in that position in free agency. I think the Browns would again be able to help themselves there through the draft." The Browns return their top two receivers from last season, Josh Gordon and Greg Little. Travis Benjamin, who led the team with a 16.6-yard per catch average, is also back.