AFC North: Peter Schaffer

Every morning, grab a cup of coffee and get your AFC North wake-up call here:

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said the team isn't close to signing free-agent wide receiver Braylon Edwards, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

A move wouldn't happen until next month because Edwards is still rehabbing his knee. He is expected to be ready for training camp.

“We’re pretty full with players and we’ll keep seeing if there are guys who are released who can help us and make us competitive,” Lewis said. “We want to strike the balance with the young players too. I don’t want to fill up our 90 spots with all old players. We’ve got to have some young guys to help supplement the draft picks and so at the end of the day you have an opportunity of guys trending up. We don’t want to have too many guys on the other side of their careers.”

Lewis doesn't think Edwards would disrupt chemistry because the receivers room belongs to A.J. Green, adding "it's his offensive football team and he has come back with that attitude."

Hensley's slant: The Bengals have the cap room to take a chance on Edwards. Cincinnati needs a No. 2 wide receiver and a target with experience. No wide receiver on the team has more than 65 career receptions. Edwards has 341 catches (but just 15 last season) and has averaged 15.6 yards per reception for his seven-year career.

BROWNS: Phil Taylor's agent said the defensive tackle is remaining positive while awaiting results of the MRI. Taylor injured his pectoral muscle Thursday while lifting weights. "Phil is staying positive. He's got a great attitude," Peter Schaffer told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "He'll either be 100 percent [when the results come in] or if he needs surgery, he'll come back 100 percent. Things happen. Phil is going to be fine either way. If he misses time, he'll come back strong." Hensley's slant: The surprise contributor of the 2012 draft could be defensive tackle Billy Winn, a sixth-round pick out of Boise State. He slid in the draft because of questionable work ethic, but his skills could make him the top candidate to fill in for Taylor.

RAVENS: Fellow cornerback Lardarius Webb has high expectations for Jimmy Smith, last year's first-round pick. Smith's rookie season was thrown off course after he basically missed the first five games of the season with an ankle injury.“He can make a huge step,” Webb told the team's official website. “With his talent, his knowledge, I think he’s going to be a Pro Bowl corner coming up next year.” Hensley's slant: It was only last month when Webb said he wanted to be better than Darrelle Revis, so he obviously likes to think big. But as I said at that time, Smith has a chance to be better than Webb this season. Smith has the size and speed to be a shutdown cornerback.

STEELERS: Ben Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he majored in education at Miami (Ohio) because he wanted to teach and coach. He received his degree last weekend. “I still may want to coach, still like to be a coach," he told the paper. "I wouldn’t rule teaching out, but I’d say it’s unlikely.’’ As the Post-Gazette pointed out, Roethlisberger would have to serve as a student-teacher if he wanted to teach. Hensley's slant: Just imagine the pressure on the quarterback for the team Roethlisberger would be coaching. You see the Super Bowl rings when Roethlisberger is holding the play-calling sheet, and you know you can't leave the game unless you have two or three broken bones. Those are some high standards to meet.

Cribbs' future with Browns in doubt

January, 6, 2010
1/06/10
8:04
PM ET
The relationship between the Cleveland Browns and Pro Bowler Joshua Cribbs has been both contentious and calm over the past two-plus seasons.

Most recently it appeared both sides were finally on the same page. But after talking to Cribbs' representation Wednesday evening, this situation has gone from cordial to awful.

Agent Peter Schaffer said Cribbs is being low-balled by the team and both are extremely upset about it. Cribbs made $900,000 this past season, and the Browns offered to raise his salary to $1.4 million over the final three years of his contract.

"Not only is it insulting, but it's illogical," Schaffer said of Cleveland's offer.

Cribbs said this via Twitter: "Thanks everyone, I love playing for the browns & put my all in to it, but it doesn't look good 4me at this point on returning."

For more on Cribbs, check ESPN.com for the full news story.

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