Monday, March 23, 2009
Inside the AFC North
By James Walker
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
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| ||Tom Hauck/Getty Images |
| ||Will Chad Ocho Cinco show up for offseason workouts? |
Here are some thoughts and observations from within the division:
- The Cincinnati Bengals will begin their offseason program on March 30, and the biggest name to watch will be receiver Chad Ocho Cinco. The Bengals do not know if the former Pro Bowl receiver will show up next week. His participation, or lack thereof, could be an indicator of whether he still wants to be traded or will get with the program this year in Cincinnati. Last year, Ocho Cinco caused a huge media circus by publicly expressing his desire to be traded while not showing up to Bengals camp until it was mandatory.
- It is unknown when this internal spat between Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini and Pro Bowl defensive tackle Shaun Rogers will end. Last month, Rogers clearly wanted out. It's possible his stance has softened a little. But Rogers' no-show for the first week of Cleveland's offseason program speaks volumes that there is still work to be done. With such a large cap number, a trade isn't likely. Both Mangini and Rogers will need to put their differences aside, at least for another year or two, and make this work.
- The more time that goes by, the better chance the Pittsburgh Steelers have of re-signing Byron Leftwich to be their backup quarterback. Leftwich enjoyed playing for the Steelers last year but is seeking a chance to compete for a starting job, and so far there has been no takers. But if Leftwich is going to be a backup anywhere next season, his first choice will be in Pittsburgh.
- Baltimore Ravens free-agent signee Chris Carr believes he is more than a kick returner. Carr spent a majority of his career backing up some good corners in Tennessee and Oakland. He will be a nickelback in Baltimore as well but should get a lot more opportunities to see the field. Carr and starters Fabian Washington and Domonique Foxworth should make for a solid trio of athletic corners.