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Monday, March 19, 2012
Wake-up: Steelers' Clark bashes Dolphins

By Jamison Hensley

Every morning, grab a cup of coffee and get your AFC North wake-up call here:

Steelers safety Ryan Clark delivered a shot at the Dolphins organization Sunday night after quarterback Matt Flynn became the latest free agent to sign elsewhere.

Responding to a previous tweet that claimed no one wants to sign with the team, Clark posted on Twitter: "No one! To believe I almost went there but it was easy decision not to."

Two years ago, Clark considered playing for the Dolphins and even visited Miami before re-signing with the Steelers. When someone accused Clark of a "low blow" last night, Clark responded again via Twitter: "It's my honest opinion. Not a good guy making decisions."

It would seem that Clark is referring to Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland.

The subject got started Sunday night when Clark, who went to LSU, congratulated Matt Flynn on his new deal. Flynn signed with the Seattle Seahawks after talking with the Dolphins.

Hensley's slant: While some will just pass this off as Clark being outspoken again, he wouldn't be the first player to criticize Ireland. During this year's Super Bowl, former Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder insisted he wouldn't play for Ireland again, saying "he's not a good person." Crowder brought up Ireland's pre-draft incident with Dez Bryant where he asked the wide receiver if his mother was a prostitute.

BENGALS: Reggie Nelson agreed to a deal Sunday that is believed to be the biggest for a safety this offseason, according to the Bengals' official website. No details of his contract were provided. Nelson chose the Bengals over the Jets. It's believed both offers exceeded $4 million per season. "I'd be lying if I didn't say it was hard," Nelson told the website. "I had a great visit with the Jets. Yeah, I went back and forth. But my agent [Hadley Engelhard] was able to come to a great agreement with the Browns [family, Bengals owners]. I'm back in orange and black." Hensley's slant: The suddenly busy Bengals will have another important day Monday, when free-agent running backs Michael Bush and BenJarvus Green-Ellis visit. It's believed that Bush is the favorite. Also, Texans tight end Joel Dreessen is visiting the Bengals Monday after meeting with the Saints.

BROWNS: A few days after ending the speculation of Kevin Kolb-to-the Browns, the same can go for Flynn, who signed three-year, $26 million deal (including $10 million guaranteed) with the Seattle Seahawks. It doesn't look like the Browns were interested in Flynn, although earlier reports indicated that the team had exchanged contract offers with him. Hensley's slant: I agreed with the Browns' game plan at quarterback this offseason, when they tried to trade up for Robert Griffin III and didn't pursue Flynn. He might have some good seasons in Seattle, but the Browns need to find themselves a franchise quarterback. But that might not come until next year's draft.

RAVENS: The Baltimore Sun's Mike Preston believes John Harbaugh and the Ravens' coaching staff wanted to re-sign center Matt Birk more than general manager Ozzie Newsome. "For the past two seasons, the Ravens have struggled in short-yardage situations and they haven't gotten much push from Birk, whose best days are behind him," Preston wrote. Preston notes that the Ravens would've cut left tackle Bryant McKinnie if they could have kept Birk and guard Ben Grubbs. Hensley's slant: With the Ravens unable to sign free agent Evan Mathis over the weekend, here's my options on what the team can do at left guard. But adding an offensive lineman isn't the Ravens' only focus. Baltimore brought in wide receiver-returner Ted Ginn Jr. for a visit Friday. He was the Dolphins' first-round pick in 2007, when Cam Cameron was the head coach, and played last season in San Francisco for Jim Harbaugh.