Thursday, February 28, 2013
Wake-up: Antonio Brown restructures deal
By Jamison Hensley
What do you hate? The start of the work week, your mother-in-law (not mine, of course) or perhaps it's those long, rambling introductions to your morning blog posts that go on, and on, and on. For linebacker Terrell Suggs, it's the Patriots. In case you missed it from last night, Suggs told a Boston radio station that he "guarantees the other 31 [NFL] teams hate the New England Patriots." Here is my blog on that topic and here is your wake-up call ...
RAVENS: The Ravens' free agents are in a holding pattern until there is a resolution with quarterback Joe Flacco. According to The Baltimore Sun, it's unlikely that the Ravens will strike any deals with their free agents before March 4, when the team will use its franchise tag if it can't get a long-term contract signed with Flacco. "There have been no discussions with the Ravens," Bryant McKinnie's agent, Michael George, said. "It's just like the other players around the league where Flacco is the main negotiation going on aside from Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger, solely for salary-cap purposes. Most players go to free agency. You negotiate with the existing club if you can."
BENGALS: Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, last year's first-round pick, won't be able to practice until training camp because he had a procedure done to correct the knee problems from last year, according to the team's official website. He is expected to be ready for the first day of camp. "I think he can play. I don't know where, when or how yet," defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer said. "We have two free agents (Terence Newman and Adam Jones) … I'd like to have them back but that doesn't mean Kirkpatrick isn't better than all of them. He could be the guy that's playing."
STEELERS: Wide receiver Antonio Brown became the second Steelers player to restructure his contract, creating about $3 million in salary-cap room in 2013, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. With linebacker Lawrence Timmons reworking his deal Tuesday, the Steelers have opened up a total of $8 million of cap space. Pittsburgh is now approximately $6 million over the cap. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is expected to restructure his contract by the end of the week, and linebacker LaMarr Woodley is another candidate to do so. Also, free-agent wide receiver Steve Breaston will visit with the Steelers on Thursday after meeting the Browns on Wednesday.
BROWNS: Tony Grossi from ESPN Radio in Cleveland speculates on a quarterback domino effect for the Browns. Matt Cassel, who is expected to be released after the Chiefs traded for Alex Smith, could rejoin the Patriots to be the backup, which could prompt New England to trade current backup Ryan Mallett to the Browns. "Let’s say (Patriots coach Bill) Belichick would agree to a fourth-round pick," Grossi wrote. "Would the Browns give up their fourth-round pick for Mallett while already being without their second-rounder (for Josh Gordon)? That decision would tell us what the Browns truly think of Brandon Weeden."