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BSL: With Steelers in turmoil, the Ravens and Browns are positioned to inherit AFC North


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#1 BSLJasonBHirschhorn

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 02:14 PM

With Steelers in turmoil, the Ravens and Browns are positioned to inherit AFC North:

 

https://www.baltimor...erit-afc-north/


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Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning sports journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. He has bylines at NFL.com, SB Nation, Sports on Earth, and other outlets. He also serves as the senior reporter and editor for Acme Packing Company, a Green Bay Packers blog. Follow him on Twitter: @by_JBH


#2 birdwatcher55

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 02:43 PM

I would never count out the Steelers.

#3 BSLGabeFerguson

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 02:54 PM

Hopefully the games between Browns and Ravens look more like week 17 and less like week 5. 


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#4 ivanbalt

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 07:12 AM

Steelers (unfortunately) always bounce back.  Only difference in the division is that Cincy and Cleveland switched spots for now.



#5 Steve55

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 07:32 AM

Until Ben retires the Steelers will always be a threat. They will just find another WR.



#6 EvenSteven

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 07:37 AM

As the Ravens have experienced the Browns are now a factor since the tie with Steelers gave us our 1/2 game edge and will be an even bigger factor next year.

The Bengals seem to have sunk once again to replace the Browns as the doormat of the division but still may have enough to claw their way through one of the pretenders to the crown.

How many times in the past ten have we written off both Big Ben and the Steelers because of turmoil and injury only to see them come back stronger. 

There will be exciting times next year as hopefully the Ravens will be the defending Super Bowl Champs


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#7 JohnnyK27

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 08:48 AM

I would never count out the Steelers.


This is exactly right! As long as Ben stays the Steelers are going to be competitive. They know how to draft and develop receivers and there defense is always solid.

They'd probably have a dip for a short time when they gave to draft a new QB

#8 BSLRobShields

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 09:08 AM

I think Pitt will be fine.

And while there’s reason to be optimistic about the Ravens going forward, I’m not expecting them to be that good in 2019. Will be an interesting offseason.
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#9 Biggsy

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 10:13 AM

I think Pitt will be fine.

And while there’s reason to be optimistic about the Ravens going forward, I’m not expecting them to be that good in 2019. Will be an interesting offseason.



I'm not sure what you mean by "that good". If they keep Smith and Mosley and make a couple of good additions, their is no reason to expect them to be any worse next year.

#10 BSLRobShields

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 10:45 AM

I'm not sure what you mean by "that good". If they keep Smith and Mosley and make a couple of good additions, their is no reason to expect them to be any worse next year.


I don’t expect those things to happen though.

I think they drop as many people as they can.

The only guy I’m really unsure about is Suggs.
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#11 JohnnyK27

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 11:32 AM

I don’t expect those things to happen though.

I think they drop as many people as they can.

The only guy I’m really unsure about is Suggs.

 

 

Are you saying you expect a cap purge from the Ravens?



#12 Hooded Viper

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 11:35 AM

The Browns are for real and are on the rise.  They worry me more than any other team in the division.  Baker Mayfield is a bad mother fucker and I wish he were our QB!  I love his moxy, his leadership and his ability.  I will say, those same things will piss me the fuck off for years because he is with the Browns.  There D is good and only needs a little seasoning and they need a weapon or 2 on offense.  This team will be good next year and real good the following.



#13 Ricker Says

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 12:25 PM

If the Steelers do move on from Brown, and when Ben retires (and obviously no Bell) - I expect them to rebuild the right way, which they will be able to do with the cap space. Through the lines, through defense. And try and find a cheap QB to manage the game, but with upside. They may have a 2-3 year stretch of being off, but they won't be down for long, that's for sure.


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#14 Mackus

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 12:37 PM

If the Steelers do move on from Brown, and when Ben retires (and obviously no Bell) - I expect them to rebuild the right way, which they will be able to do with the cap space. Through the lines, through defense. And try and find a cheap QB to manage the game, but with upside. They may have a 2-3 year stretch of being off, but they won't be down for long, that's for sure.

 

Yep.

 

They've had 6 losing seasons since 1972.  Never fewer than 6 wins.  They won't be down for long if they are down at all.



#15 Hooded Viper

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 12:39 PM

If the Steelers do move on from Brown, and when Ben retires (and obviously no Bell) - I expect them to rebuild the right way, which they will be able to do with the cap space. Through the lines, through defense. And try and find a cheap QB to manage the game, but with upside. They may have a 2-3 year stretch of being off, but they won't be down for long, that's for sure.

 

I agree with this and they drafted their QB of the future this year in Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State.  Now whether or not he will fullfill his potential is another thing entirely, but he put up big numbers in college.  As a side note, everyone was talking shit about how Joe would react to Lamar being drafted and he has handled it, by all accounts, with pure class whereas Big Ben started talking shit about the 3rd round pick the second he was asked about it.  What a dick.



#16 Biggsy

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 12:49 PM

I don’t expect those things to happen though.

I think they drop as many people as they can.

The only guy I’m really unsure about is Suggs.



We'll see. I get where you're coming from. I could see them letting Smith walk. I could see Flacco, Weddle, Boyle and Carr all being given their walking papers. That would also leave a decent amount of money on the table to make some moves.

I have to admit, after watching the Ravens waste much of Flaccos prime with limited offensive resources, it would be rather annoying to watch them go out and load up on offense for Jackson.

#17 jkough1

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 01:27 PM

Ravens cap is in amazing shape headed to next year. $32 million open to start with.

 

I think they cut Flacco, Crabree, Carr and Jefferson. Though Jefferson in the scheme of things is kind of moot. Those 3 guys are $23 million in pre-June 1 cuts. So we're up to $55 million. $10 million to draft and injuries. $15 million to resign ZDS, Mosely and Suggs. $30 million to go. 

 

You can still cut Smith and Weddle for another $16 million if you need to. I'm making a hard run at Earl Thomas btw. 

 

If you bring back the aforementioned guys, and say bring in Thomas (and hey keep Weddle and move him back to SS). What holes do we really have?

 

OL, TE, DL, OLB, CB, RB, S would all be set. You could use one more WR but you've got Lasley, Moore, Scott, Snead and a draft pick. You could use depth at DL maybe one more body or bring back Urban. But Sieler flashed enough. Averett can replace Carr. 

 

I'm not worried about the future of this team at all and strongly disagree that we'll see a step back from this team next year. 



#18 BSLRobShields

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 01:33 PM

Are you saying you expect a cap purge from the Ravens?

Yep.

 

I think by 2020, this team looks soooo different and that starts this offseason.


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#19 BSLRobShields

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 01:36 PM

We'll see. I get where you're coming from. I could see them letting Smith walk. I could see Flacco, Weddle, Boyle and Carr all being given their walking papers. That would also leave a decent amount of money on the table to make some moves.

I have to admit, after watching the Ravens waste much of Flaccos prime with limited offensive resources, it would be rather annoying to watch them go out and load up on offense for Jackson.

I think Boyle is as close to a lock as an UFA can be.  They love his blocking and with how they will run the ball, I think they bring him back.

 

CJ/Weddle/Suggs/Smith/Carr.....I would be surprised if more than 2 of them are on the team next year.  I would like to keep Jimmy Smith and hope he will accept a pay cut.  I would be ok keeping Suggs depending on the deal.  CJ I would let walk.  Cut Weddle.

 

I don't want Jefferson back but its not really helping us, cap wise, to cut him after this season.

 

I suspect him and BWill will get cut after next year.

 

I also wonder if they try to sign Pierce to a longer term deal.


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#20 jkough1

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 01:52 PM

CJ/Weddle/Suggs/Smith/Carr.....I would be surprised if more than 2 of them are on the team next year.  I would like to keep Jimmy Smith and hope he will accept a pay cut.  I would be ok keeping Suggs depending on the deal.  CJ I would let walk.  Cut Weddle.

 

I'd be surprised if less than 3 were back next year. I think one of Smith or Carr is staying. I'd keep Smith but be fine going the other way. If Smith would take a paycut, I'd keep them both. If you can find a way to shave $5 mill off the cap and keep them both, it's the same as cutting Carr. I'm OK with kicking a bit down the road via extension and getting creative there.

 

Weddle is gone only if we think we can replace him. I think he can slide to the role Jefferson is supposed to play anyway. I wanted him gone but I kind of expect him back. 

 

Suggs is a wild card. Can you sign him to a 3/17 type deal that isn't a lot guaranteed and can get us out on the back end? Maybe $5 guaranteed, 1/5/6 in salary structure? So you're looking at a $3 mill cap hit, next year and a pretty low back end out. You could even give him $7 or 8 mill guaranteed in that structure without any real harm, IMO. 

 

Like I said, there is a lot of cap space to go around. I think you can keep ZDS in the 5/40 range (what McPhee got) and keep next year's hit around $5 mill. And you can get Mosely for 5/55 and keep that cap hit around $7 mill for next year.

 

The Ravens cap is in much better shape than it seems and when Joe is fully off the books, there is going to be excess cap space. I'd rather keep ZDS and CJ now in anticipation of that space even if it means overpaying a bit. 






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