Monday, May 21, 2012
Wake-up call: Moch reportedly suspended
By Jamison Hensley
Every morning, grab a cup of coffee and get your AFC North wake-up call here:
Bengals linebacker Dontay Moch has been suspended four games for using a banned substance, pending an appeal, according to NFL.com's Jason LaCanfora.
Moch, a third-round pick in 2011, didn't play in a game as a rookie last year. After recovering from a broken foot in the preseason opener, he missed significant practice time with migraines.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello declined to comment on the report to the Cincinnati Enquirer. After the news broke, Moch posted on Twitter: “Mistakes happens! Learn [and] move forward.”
Hensley's slant: The Bengals need more of a pass rush presence opposite Carlos Dunlap, but Moch's development is being repeatedly slowed down. If Moch loses his appeal, this will mark the third straight year that a Bengals player has been suspended for using a performance-enhancing substance. Defensive end Antwan was disciplined for four games in 2010 and guard Bobbie Williams received the same punishment last season.
BROWNS: This could be Josh Cribbs' final season with the Browns, according to the News-Herald in Northern Ohio. Because new NFL rules have diminished kickoff returners, Cribbs might have to take a pay cut from his 2012 salary ($1.4 million) if he wants to remain on the team, the paper reported. Also, in a legal update, Cribbs reached a plea agreement in his speeding case. He was charged for driving 103 mph in a 60-mph zone. The charge was reduced to driving 89 mph in a 60-mph zone, which put two points on his license and carried a $302 fine. Hensley's slant: Cribbs ranked fourth in the AFC in kickoff returns, led the Browns' wide receivers with four touchdowns and a 12.6-yard per catch average and topped the team in special teams tackles. It looks like the Browns are getting a good value out of Cribbs at $1.4 million, and a paycut should not be a requirement to stay. But the drafting of Travis Benjamin does threaten Cribbs' place as a returner and receiver.
RAVENS: There have been no internal discussions within the Ravens' front office to reduce Terrell Suggs' 2012 salary after he tore his Achilles away from team headquarters, according to the Baltimore Sun. Baltimore has the right to put Suggs on the Non-Football Injury list and not pay him for the games he will be sidelined. Based on his $4.9 million salary in 2012, the Ravens could save $2 million if Suggs missed seven games on the Non-Football Injury list. Hensley's slant: As I previously wrote, trying to take money away from Suggs would be a bad idea. Whether he was injured in a conditioning test or a basketball game, he was keeping in shape, which hasn't always been the case with Suggs. Plus, it wasn't like he was racing on a motorcycle or cliff diving.
STEELERS: Wide receiver Mike Wallace and the team's top two draft picks will be absent when the Steelers open their organized team activities Tuesday, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Wallace has yet to sign his restricted free-agent tender of $2.7 million and won't be required to attend. Guard David DeCastro and offensive tackle Mike Adams, who were drafted in the first two rounds in April, will miss the offseason workouts until their schools have completed final exams, the Post-Gazette reported. Hensley's slant: Wallace likely won't return to the team until training camp. The Steelers could reduce his tender to $577,500 if the doesn't sign his tender before June 15, which is one day after the full-team minicamp ends. Pittsburgh, though, isn't expected to make such a move. Also, it is believed that DeCastro could attend the OTAs because he has already graduated Stanford.