Friday, March 1, 2013
Wake-up: Teams tampering with Cribbs?
By Jamison Hensley
I will be rolling out the top salary-cap figures for the Steelers and Ravens today. Just click here to see the ones for the Bengals and Browns from yesterday. Our weekly feature "Eight in the Box" will get posted at noon. With those programming notes out of the way, here's your wake-up call ...
RAVENS: The Ravens are expected to show interest in 49ers defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois, according to The Baltimore Sun. Francois, an unrestricted free agent later this month, only has five career starts but he was part of San Francisco's rotation, playing nose tackle and both defensive end spots. The Ravens could be looking to replace aging Ma'ake Kemoeatu, a free agent who beat out Terrence Cody last season. The Packers are also reportedly interested in Francois.
BENGALS: Special-teams coach Darrin Simmons looked at his stopwatch frequently at his 16th NFL combine. "When it comes to special teams," Simmons told the team's official website, "it's the only play that every snap is at least 40 yards. So you better be able to run. I'm looking for size-speed guys." In 2012, the Bengals ranked in the top half of the NFL in both punt-return and punt coverage but they were in the bottom half in kickoff-return and kickoff coverage.
STEELERS: Free-agent wide receiver Steve Breaston, who is from Pittsburgh, took a physical with the team Thursday, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. There is no news to whether negotiations have begun with Breaston, who was released by the Chiefs on Feb. 19. The Steelers also claimed former Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson off waivers from the Jaguars, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has spent his first three years in the league on the Falcons' and Jaguars' practice squads.
BROWNS: Have teams been tampering with Browns' soon-to-be free agent Josh Cribbs? In an interview with ESPN Radio in Cleveland, Cribbs said, "There is a lot of interest. There are already numbers brought to the table. Things are happening. Wheels are turning behind closed doors." Cribbs' agent, Peter Schaffer, told The Plain Dealer that Cribbs is inaccurate. "Our conversations to this point have been exclusively with the Browns," Schaffer said. League rules state that teams can't talk to free agents from other teams until March 9. All we know right now is someone's not telling the truth. Either Cribbs is lying to make it sound like he's a hot commodity or the agents are lying about not talking to other teams.