Monday, March 4, 2013
Wake-up: Cornerback rejoining Steelers
By Jamison Hensley
Happy tag day to everyone. There shouldn't be much drama concerning the franchise tag today (the deadline to apply it) because the Bengals already used it on defensive end Michael Johnson and the Ravens only planned on putting it on quarterback Joe Flacco, who will sign a six-year, $120.6 million contract today. The Browns and Steelers aren't expected to tag anyone.
In other division news, wide receiver Steve Breaston won't get signed by the Steelers or the Browns. He visited both teams last week. Breaston, who was cut by the Chiefs this offseason, is considering undergoing the Regenokine treatment in Germany in an effort to repair knee inflammation and early arthritic symptoms, sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Now, let's go to your wake-up call ...
RAVENS: Flacco's record-setting deal, which makes him the highest-paid player in NFL history, was finalized Sunday night, according to Schefter. A news conference is expected Monday afternoon, and the AFC North blog will be there to cover it. Just a heads up to everyone: There will be more posts on Flacco's deal today. This isn't just big news for the division. This is the biggest news of the NFL offseason so far. In case you missed it Friday night, here's my column on Flacco's contract.
BENGALS: One reason many believe the Bengals will draft a safety comes from the disappointing play of Taylor Mays. He was expected to take over the starting safety job but he ended up playing 22.8 percent of the defensive snaps. Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer told the Cincinnati Enquirer that he's "not down on him" and isn't planning on moving Mays to linebacker. “For a big guy he’s not a real good blitzer," Zimmer said. "We’re going to have to try to improve him on that. He does some good things in some of the coverages,” Zimmer said. “He does some good things in run support, so we just have to make him more polished in a lot of the ways."
STEELERS: Cornerback William Gay is apparently rejoining the Steelers after one season with the Cardinals, according to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. While his agent wouldn't confirm a deal, Gay acknowledged to teammates on Twitter that he is coming back to Pittsburgh. Gay started at cornerback in 2009, lost his job to Bryant McFadden in 2010 and regained it in 2011. The Steelers are probably looking for depth at that position since they might lose Keenan Lewis in free agency. Gay was among the worst-rated cornerbacks in the NFL last season, giving up 726 yards passing last season (15th most in the league).
BROWNS: Defensive tackle Phil Taylor is excited to start playing in Ray Horton's defense. Taylor told the Akron Beacon-Journal that he learned how to be a professional from former defensive coordinator Dick Jauron, but he is ready for Horton's aggressive style after talking to the Cardinals' Patrick Peterson. Horton was the Cardinals' defensive coordinator last season before taking the same position with the Browns this year. “This defense this year is going to look totally different,” Taylor said. “We’re going to be out there flying around. It’s going to be crazy. I can’t wait to get out there. Everybody will be attacking in this defense. You’ll see.”