AFC North: Steve Hagen
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
Here are the most interesting stories Tuesday in the AFC North:
- It turns out the Pittsburgh Steelers will keep their coaching staff intact for next year coming off a victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.
Morning take: This is a rarity for a championship team and should not be overlooked in its quest to repeat.
- Speaking of coaching staffs, the Cleveland Browns have hired new tight ends coach Steve Hagen from the University of North Carolina.
Morning take: Browns head coach Eric Mangini continues to look to the college ranks to fill out his staff of assistants. Hagen does have some pro experience with a prior stint with the Browns.
- The Cincinnati Bengals used the franchise tag on kicker Shayne Graham, opening the door for receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh to test free agency.
Morning take: Once other teams get in a high-stakes bidding war for "Housh," the Bengals will probably back off and let the former Pro Bowler play elsewhere next season. It should be a good opportunity for Houshmandzadeh to start anew.
- The Baltimore Ravens also made a cost-cutting move in releasing veteran cornerback Chris McAlister.
Morning take: This is not shocking considering McAlister was due $8 million next season. Baltimore needs salary cap room to make a serious run at in-house free agents such as linebackers Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs.