Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Wake-up: No deal close for Joe Flacco?
By Jamison Hensley
Every morning, grab a cup of coffee and get your AFC North wake-up call here:
The Ravens aren't anywhere close to striking a deal with quarterback Joe Flacco, according to the Carroll County Times.
Flacco is entering the final year of his contract, and the sides have been discussing an extension since February. "I'm not worried about it at all," Flacco told the Baltimore Sun on Sunday. "It's either going to get done or it's not. It's not really up to me."
Hensley's slant: There's still plenty of time for Flacco and the Ravens to reach an agreement. Unlike Ray Rice, who needs to get a deal done before July 16 to avoid playing under the tag, there is no such deadline for Flacco. He can sign a deal during training camp or during the season. My stance remains that Flacco will sign a contract that averages out to $13 million per season and includes between $30 million and $35 million guaranteed.
BENGALS: Taylor Mays is getting the most time with the starting defense as he tries to win the starting safety job next to Reggie Nelson, according to the Bengals' official website. Mays is competing against George Iloka, Robert Sands and Jeromy Miles. "In some areas, [Mays] still got a ways to go," defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer said. "[He needs] consistency. Doing things right. Discipline. Accountability. Whoever lines up there, that is what I want: accountability. Day in and day out." Hensley's slant: Mays will look better in training camp when players put the pads on and hit. But this is the time of the year when Mays really needs to step up. The biggest knock on him has been his coverage skills.
BROWNS: Despite rumors that Scott Fujita contemplated retirement after the end of last season, the veteran linebacker told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he is committed to playing in 2012. "While there have certainly been some unexpected challenges this offseason, which are beyond my control right now, I can't let that distract me from getting myself as prepared as possible to play this season," Fujita wrote in an email to the paper. "Obviously, I'm a lot closer to the end of my career than I am to the beginning, so the time to win is now." Hensley's slant: The question isn't about Fujita's commitment. It's his durability. He hasn't started more than 10 games in a season since 2008. In two seasons with the Browns, Fujita has played 19 games and missed 13.
STEELERS: NFL rules have prohibited rookie left tackle Mike Adams from participating in offseason workouts because Ohio State's classes are still in session. That hasn't stopped the second-round pick from learning the playbook on his own. “At the end of the day it’s football,” Adams told the Steelers' official website. “There might be different terms we use in college, but at the end of the day it’s all football. For me, it’s just the game I love, so I don’t really look at it as a difficulty, but more as a challenge to myself to see how well I can master the offense, how quick I can do it so that I can get on the field and help this team.” Hensley's slant: Adams is the biggest question mark on the Steelers' new-look offensive line. If he can hold down the left side, the Steelers will have a much-improved unit up front. If he struggles, the Steelers might have to turn to Jonathan Scott, who flopped as a starter last season. According to FoxSports, last year's starting left tackle Max Starks isn't likely to return to the Steelers.