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Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Wake-up: Big Ben recovered from injuries

By Jamison Hensley

It's now less than a week away from the official start of free agency. Can't you just feel the tampering already? Actually, teams can negotiate with potential free agents beginning Saturday this year, but the deals can't be signed until Tuesday. For now, let's see what the wake-up call has in store ...

RAVENS: The Ravens are expected to address Joe Flacco's contract prior to the 2016 season, when the fourth year of his record deal has a $28.5 million salary-cap hit. "Depending on the salary cap, that's what will determine when we get to the fourth year, what they're going to have to do," Flacco's agent, Joe Linta, told The Baltimore Sun. "We really viewed this as sort of a three-year deal to make sure the first three years Joe was paid accordingly with the top guys in the league." Flacco will earn $62 million in the first three years of his six-year contract.

BENGALSSirius XM Radio tweeted that Dashon Goldson, the 49ers safety and soon-to-be free agent, is interested in playing for the Bengals. Before you picture the two-time Pro Bowl defender in a Bengals jersey, Goldson started out the radio interview by saying San Francisco is "home" and hopes it works out with the 49ers. Still, when told that the Bengals would be a good fit for him, Goldson said, via The Cincinnati Enquirer, "They’ve got a good football team down there. They’re on track and they’ve got a good quarterback and receivers. I will have to consider all my options and we’ll have to see whose interested in me.”

STEELERS: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he has fully recovered from a sprained right shoulder and dislocated rib that affected his play late in the season. "Not one person in this locker room ends the season 100 percent," he said. "I didn't end the season 100 percent but I felt healthier and better than I have in a long time. I'm working out earlier this year. I took one week off, one week. I have no issues." Roethlisberger did acknowledge for the first time that he didn't have the arm strength to make sideline throws -- which led to key interceptions against the Cowboys and Bengals in December -- after he came back from those injuries.
BROWNS: On the same day that Mike Lombardi received the title of general manager for the Browns, it looks like Kevin Costner will have the same role as well. According to the Buffalo News, the movie "Draft Day," which was originally set in Buffalo, will be shot in Cleveland. The reason: It's $3 million cheaper to film in Cleveland. The movie will now depict Costner as a fictitious Browns general manager trying to restore his team to past glory. That's been a familiar storyline for the Browns since the team returned to the league in 1999.