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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / AFC North Free Agency Report Cards…So Far

AFC North Free Agency Report Cards…So Far

AFC North Free Agency Grades

The NFC East, AFC EastNFC North, AFC South, and NFC South Free Agency report cards are in. It is now time for the AFC North.


Additions and Re-signs:

Kevin Minter (LB- Ariz), Brandon LaFell (WR), Dre Kirkpatrick (CB), T.J. Johnson (G), Eric Winston (T), Cedric Peerman (HB), Wallace Gilberry (DE), Andre Smith (T- Min), Randy Bullock (K)


Karlos Dansby (LB- Ariz), Margus Hunt (DE- Indy), Rex Burkhead (HB- NE), Andrew Whitworth (T- Rams), Domata Peko (DT- Den), Kevin Zeitler (G- Clev), James Wright (WR- Clev)

At first glance, the Bengals lost some key players that made them worse off than last year, and that’s largely true. Kevin Zeitler, though expensive, was probably the one player the Bengals couldn’t afford to lose. Andrew Whitworth’s departure means they took a few big steps backwards on the offensive line.

Rex Burkhead is another player the Bengals could have used, but went on to New England where he will likely flourish. The rest were probably addition by subtraction.

It was good to re-sign Kirkpatrick and LaFell, but the important player is Cedric Peerman. Peerman is leader of the special teams and when he’s in the lineup, the Bengals are infinitely better in coverage. The Minter signing was also solid.

The Bengals need to crush the draft if they’re going to get back to their 2015 form.

Bengals Grade: C


Additions and Re-signs:

J.C. Tretter (C- GB), Kevin Zeitler (G- Cin), Jamie Collins (DE), Kenny Britt (WR- Rams), James Wright (WR- Cin), Matt McCants (T- Chi), Jamie Meder (DT), Britton Colquitt (P), Brock Osweiler (QB- Hou), Marcus Martin (C- SF), Joel Bitonio (T)


Jordan Poyer (S- Buf), Stephen Paea (DT- Dal), Josh McCown (QB- Jets), Terrelle Pryor (WR- Wash)

The Browns did the right thing and beefed up their offensive line by signing J.C. Tretter and Kevin Zeitler to go with Joe Thomas. That unit is good to go.

Kenny Britt is good, but they should have tried harder to keep Terrelle Pryor.

Cleveland has a warchest of draft picks, so the story isn’t over yet, but for now, they haven’t done a ton.

Browns Grade: B-


Additions and Re-signs:

Tony Jefferson (S- Ariz), Brandon J. Williams (DT), Brandon Carr (CB- Dal), Anthony Levine (S), Ryan Mallett (QB), Danny Woodhead (RB- Chargers),


Kyle Juszczyk (FB- SF), Vladimir Ducasse (G- Buf), Marqueston Huff (S- KC), Kamar Aiken (WR- Indy), Ricky Wagner (T- Det), Lawrence Guy (DT- NE),

The Ravens are moving on from Elvis Dumervil and Steve Smith Sr. and let a few other guys go as well. Tony Jefferson and Danny Woodhead are good pickups, but the Ravens will need to make more moves after the draft.

Ravens Grade: C


Additions and Re-signs:

James Harrison (LB/DE), David Johnson (TE), Knile Davis (RB- KC), Landry Jones (QB), Coty Sensabaugh (CB- NYG), Steven Johnson (LB), Greg Warren (LS), Tyson Alualu (DE- Jax), Justin Hunter (WR- Buf), Kameron Canaday (DE- Ariz), Trey Williams (RB- Indy), Devonte Johnson (CB- Atl), Mike Matthews (C- Clev),


Markus Wheaton (WR- Chi), Jarvis Jones (DE- Ariz), Lawrence Timmons (LB- Mia)

The Steelers have their offense set. They extended Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown and they get Martavis Bryant back. Their biggest hurdle, as always, is to keep Ben Roethlisberger upright and healthy.

They need to find a quality backup as Landry Jones cannot get it done when needed. The defense also took a step backwards with the losses of Jarvis Jones and Lawrence Timmons.

If they can add some talent and depth to the defense through the draft and by picking up a couple other players after the June 1st cuts, they should be fine.

Steelers Grade: C-

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