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Monday, February 22, 2010
AFC North mailbag

By James Walker
ESPN.com

Let's answer some questions on the AFC North.

Justin Morgan from Toledo, Ohio, wants to know if the Cincinnati Bengals will really land free-agent receiver Terrell Owens.

James Walker: Justin, at this point it's just speculation. But this is one of the hardest rumors to track down. On one side you have receiver Chad Ochocinco, who plays for the Bengals, saying it's going to happen. On the other side, the Bengals are very silent about this because they are afraid to get fined for tampering while Owens is still under contract until March with the Buffalo Bills. So this is a rumor that likely will not be figured out until free agency starts.


Dave from Miami want to know if a trade involving Pittsburgh Steelers tailback Willie Parker and San Diego Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie is possible.

Walker: That's not going to happen for several reasons, Dave. First, Parker is an unrestricted free agent. The Steelers would have to place a tag on Parker to own the rights to trading him, and using any tag on Parker is not in Pittsburgh's plans. Second, if the Chargers are expected to get rid of LaDainian Tomlinson because he is aging and has durability concerns, why would they trade for Parker, who has some of the same issues?


Charlie from Chardon, OH, writes: James, I am graduating in May and still don't have a job. You think Cleveland Browns president Mike Holmgren will add me to his front office, too?

Walker: I sense sarcasm here. But entry level NFL jobs are not as glamorous as you think, Charlie. In fact, it's not glamorous at all. It's low paying, you work a million hours, and you mostly run errands for a couple years before doing the fun stuff. But if you still want to live off pizza and soda for next few years, I suggest you apply.


David from Milwaukee, Wisc. writes: Is there a chance the Bengals may come calling for Chicago Bears TE Greg Olsen? If the Bengals aren't willing to drop a draft pick or the bigger paycheck on Olsen, how would newly released Derek Fine look in stripes?

Walker: The Bengals are much more interested in drafting a tight end than trading for one. So don't expect Olsen to come to Cincinnati via trade. Fine was recently claimed on waivers by the St. Louis Rams. So he's off the board.

If you have any additional AFC North questions, feel free to send them to our AFC North inbox.