The AFC North has completed its slate of team activities/minicamps. Next stop: Actual training camps. While all four of our beloved teams fortunately sustained no significant injuries, some pre-camp questions and observations remain viable.
And here they are.
The Bengals have signed all of their 2022 draft picks. Here’s the cap space they have left, and although they have slightly less flexibility than they’ve had in years (decades?) past, there’s still more than enough money available for late camp pickups and IR-inducing roster replacements. While the current roster is still formidable, holes remain at all levels of the defense. Look for the Bengals to add a lot of camp bodies in an attempt to filter a few players from the NFL’s proverbial “trash heap”.
ILB Devin Bush has exhibited some pretty huge performance swings in his limited time in the NFL, having garnered a few Rookie of the Year votes after an excellent 2019 to being benched for underwhelming play in 2021. Bush may or may not still be recovering from a torn ACL suffered in 2020, but his disposition for 2022 remains the same – play well or else. It’s fair to say Bush will be looking for a new address if he fails to perform, as the team has already scuttled the notion of picking up his option year.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Browns are exploring options for a new partially taxpayer-funded stadium. The last time this happened, then-owner Art Modell decided to take Maryland’s money instead and bolted for Baltimore, turning the then-Browns into today’s Ravens overnight. Surely lightning won’t strike twice and the Haslams appear sincere in their desire to remain in Cleveland…at Cleveland’s expense. Stay tuned to this one, just for the historical implications.
The Ravens are presumably handing the #1 WR slot to second-year wideout Rashod Bateman, who is publicly more than willing to take it on. That’s good, but it still leaves a 1,000-yard hole in the roster where since-traded WR Marquise Brown once resided. Look for the Ravens to add WR depth before and during camp, but referring to it as “quality” may be problematic.
Enjoy the week!