AFC North: Jon Baldwin

The Baltimore Ravens reportedly are seeking more than an apology from the Chicago Bears following a trade snafu that cost Baltimore one slot in the first round of the NFL draft.

According to Peter King of Sports Illustrated, Baltimore is expected to contact the league Friday to try to get the fourth-round pick Chicago agreed upon during the botched trade. Both teams were required to call in the trade and the Ravens did their part. But the Bears dropped the ball and forgot to make the call, causing the trade to fall through and the Ravens to miss their pick.

The Kansas City Chiefs quickly turned in their card and drafted University of Pittsburgh receiver Jon Baldwin at No. 26. The Ravens took their target anyway in Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith at No. 27 but remain upset with the chain of events.

Bears general manager Jerry Angelo made a public apology to the Ravens Thursday night. But chances are, they don't want to give up an extra draft pick if the trade wasn't made official by the NFL. The Bears still made their selection in their original slot at No. 29 and would prefer to sweep everything under the rug and simply move on.

If you're going by the honor code, the Ravens deserve the pick. The two sides came to an agreement and the Bears were responsible for screwing it up. But the NFL draft is big business where honor doesn't always apply.

Morning take: Will Bengals budge?

March, 17, 2011
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Here are the most interesting stories Thursday in the AFC North: Morning take: History says the Bengals won't budge, but they've never been in this position with a franchise quarterback. With the lockout, Cincinnati cannot do anything but prepare for the draft. But the team should explore all avenues, including trade options, when the time is right.
Morning take: Bowers' recent knee surgery may be a concern for some teams, but the talent is certainly there. If he drops to Cleveland at No. 6, he could fill a huge need and be a good addition to Dick Jauron's 4-3 defense.
Morning take: Sharing the same training facility, the Steelers should have a good idea for the talent at Pittsburgh. Receiver Jon Baldwin and defensive end Jabaal Sheard are the two biggest names pro scouts are keeping an eye on.
Morning take: Cundiff tied the NFL record last season with 40 touchbacks while kicking the ball from the 30-yard line. Barring injury or a sudden decrease in leg strength, Cundiff should break the record next season if he's given five additional yards.

Morning take: Bengals' receivers

March, 15, 2011
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Here are the most interesting stories Tuesday in the AFC North:

  • Will the Cincinnati Bengals select University of Pittsburgh receiver Jon Baldwin in the second round?
Morning take: With Chad Ochocinco's future in Cincinnati in doubt, the team should look at a receiver in the first three rounds. There are more pressing needs, such as defensive line and quarterback. But minus Ochocinco, the Bengals also lack proven talent at receiver.
Morning take: Hopefully, Zbikowski will get stiffer competition than the tomato can he pounded last weekend. With no collective bargaining agreement, I'd really like to see "Zbi" and "Ocho" go at it for charity and without any fear of repercussions from their respective teams.

  • Cleveland Browns president Mike Holmgren says he's keeping his draft options open with the No. 6 overall pick.
Morning take: Holmgren also said that includes quarterbacks, and particularly Auburn's Cam Newton. After singing the praises of Colt McCoy this entire offseason, this sudden interest in Newton appears very strange. I view it as a smokescreen.
Morning take: I agree with this mock draft that Texas cornerback Aaron Williams would be a solid pick. Cornerback is the team's biggest need and top corner Ike Taylor is a pending free agent. It's time the Steelers finally invest a top pick into the position.

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