AFC North: David Tyree

INDIANAPOLIS -- David Tyree, who made one of the greatest catches in Super Bowl history, wasn't pulling for a rematch of the 2007 Super Bowl. He wanted his former teams to meet up in Indianapolis.

Tyree's catch, where he pinned the ball against his helmet, set up the winning touchdown as the New York Giants upset the undefeated New England Patriots in February 2008. About 20 months later, Tyree finished up his career by playing three months as a special teams player for the Baltimore Ravens.

"I was rooting for the Ravens," Tyree told Comcast SportsNet. "I'm always rooting somewhat for the underdog. I thought regardless, whoever won [in the AFC] you had a great storyline as far as assuming that the Giants went -- you got a rematch with 2000 and you got a rematch with 2007."

Tyree got the rematch and you don't have to ask who he is rooting for now.

Free agency: AFC North

February, 15, 2010
AFC Free Agency: East | West | North | South NFC: East | West | North | South

An early look at the free-agent situation in the AFC North.

Note: These projected lists reflect notable unrestricted free agents for each team. The NFL will not issue an official list of free agents until the signing period begins March 5.

Baltimore Ravens

Greg M. Cooper/US PresswireThe Ravens' already-thin receiving corps will take a big hit if Derrick Mason retires.
Unrestricted free agents: DL Justin Bannan, K Billy Cundiff, DL Dwan Edwards, CB Corey Ivy, WR Derrick Mason, TE L.J. Smith, WR David Tyree, CB Frank Walker, WR Kelley Washington

Key figures: Derrick Mason is contemplating retirement. But if he wants to play, the Ravens have every intention of keeping their leading receiver. Look for Baltimore also to make a push for another significant addition at receiver to assist the development of budding quarterback Joe Flacco. Sleeper players on this list include the two defensive linemen: Justin Bannan and Dwan Edwards. The Ravens like both players and will probably make a push to keep at least one on the roster. Baltimore also lacks cornerback depth and might elect to bring back Frank Walker, despite his penchant for giving up big plays and committing penalties.

Cincinnati Bengals

Unrestricted free agents: K Shayne Graham, FB Jeremi Johnson, RB Larry Johnson, DT Tank Johnson, TE Reggie Kelly, DT Shaun Smith, OG Bobbie Williams, S Roy Williams

Key figures: Bobbie Williams is an interesting name. He’s one of Cincinnati’s most consistent offensive linemen over the last several years, but he turns 34 in September. Kicker Shayne Graham, who was franchised last season, had a solid career in Cincinnati. But he missed kicks in big spots, potentially ending his run with the Bengals. Running back Larry Johnson was third string in Cincinnati and should get more playing time elsewhere in 2010.

Cleveland Browns

Unrestricted free agents: WR Mike Furrey, TE Michael Gaines, OG Rex Hadnot, CB Hank Poteat, OL Ryan Tucker, OG Billy Yates

Key figures: This is not an impressive list as most of Cleveland's key free agents -- such as Jerome Harrison, Lawrence Vickers and D'Qwell Jackson -- are restricted. Mike Furrey is a high-character player that coach Eric Mangini likes on his football team, and he might be retained. The remaining players on this list likely will hit the open market. The Browns have an interesting decision to make with Harrison, who led the team in rushing after a tremendous second half of the 2009 season. Harrison could garner some interest as a restricted free agent if the Browns do not offer a high enough tender.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Unrestricted free agents: QB Charlie Batch, LB Rocky Boiman, S Tyrone Carter, S Ryan Clark, DE Nick Eason, WR Joey Galloway, NT Casey Hampton, DE Travis Kirschke, RB Willie Parker, K Jeff Reed, CB Deshea Townsend

Key figures: The Steelers are aiming to keep most of their key veterans, while infusing some youth through the draft. All indications are the team will offer extensions to safety Ryan Clark and kicker Jeff Reed. Pro Bowl nose tackle Casey Hampton is the biggest name on this list. But he's a strong candidate for the franchise tag, because there is no full-time replacement on the roster. This offseason probably will mark the end of tailback Willie Parker's tenure in Pittsburgh. Parker, 29, helped lead the Steelers to two Super Bowl wins during his career. But various ailments since initially breaking his leg in 2007 hampered his production.

Morning take: Quinn trade looming?

October, 14, 2009

Posted by’s James Walker

Here are the most interesting stories Wednesday in the AFC North: Morning take: This is one of those things that could mean a lot or mean nothing. Only time will tell if Quinn remains in Cleveland long-term.
  • Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes Steelers starting defensive end Aaron Smith is out indefinitely with a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder.
Morning take: It appears there is a chance Smith could be lost for the season, which would be the worst-case scenario. Either way it will be up to backups Travis Kirschke, Nick Eason and rookie Ziggy Hood to step up.
Morning take: There was a time in the spring when the AFC North blog was the only national media that thought highly of the Bengals. Ah, those were the good old days.
Morning take: Tyree might be able to help at receiver, but perhaps his most immediate contribution will be on special teams. He has 85 career tackles on special teams with the New York Giants.

Posted by’s James Walker

Here is an update on the latest happenings Tuesday in the AFC North:
  • Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons missed another practice Tuesday, which means he likely will be ruled out for Thursday’s season opener against the Tennessee Titans.
  • The Steelers also signed center Justin Hartwig to a four-year contract extension.
  • The Baltimore Ravens worked out veteran receiver David Tyree and may be interested in signing him.