While the Cleveland Browns have the NFL world buzzing over the Odell Beckham trade and their offseason is off to a great start, it’s time to look and see what the other teams around the AFC North are doing and how the division is stacking up heading into 2019.
Lost: Eric Weddle, Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosley, Za’Darius Smith, John Brown, Michael Crabtree, Joe Flacco
Added: Mark Ingram, Earl Thomas
The Ravens are an interesting team based on their offseason moves so far. They’ve let a chunk of their talented defense walk out the door early in free agency.
They re-signed Nick Boyle to a interesting contract and are loading up at the tight end position with Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews and also added running back Mark Ingram and former Seahawks safety Earl Thomas.
It’s apparent that they’re going to be running the ball a lot next season with Lamar Jackson as the team’s quarterback after trading Joe Flacco to Denver.
Their secondary is still talented with Jimmy Smith, Marlon Humphrey, Earl Thomas and Tony Jefferson but the front seven outside of Michael Pierce and Brandon Williams, there’s some questions surrounding that defense.
Lost: Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Jesse James, Marcus Gilbert
Added: Steven Nelson, Donte Moncrief
Pittsburgh is still going to be good in 2019 despite the narrative out there that because they officially lost Bell and traded Antonio Brown to Oakland but you have to wonder how the locker room is going to rebound from the drama and controversy that surrounded the team the last 12 months.
Trading Marcus Gilbert away was a head scratcher even though they gave new contracts to Maurkice Pouncey and Ramon Foster to keep the offensive line intact. They’ll need to find a new right tackle to replace Gilbert and outside of Vance McDonald, another tight end would help with the departure of James to Detroit.
I like the addition of Steven Nelson to the Steelers secondary as I was hoping he’d be a free agency target for the Browns. They needed a cornerback opposite Joe Haden as Artie Burns hasn’t panned out yet as a former first-round pick.
I also like the addition of Donte Moncrief who will be a solid #2 WR to JuJu Smith-Schuster as second-year player James Washington continues to develop.
Lost: Tyler Kroft
Added: Bobby Hart
I can honestly say I have no idea what the Cincinnati Bengals are doing but I don’t think they’re headed in the right direction.
They’ve switched head coaches for the first time since 2003 with the departure of Marvin Lewis and the arrival of Rams QB coach Zac Taylor but it seems as though the franchise is just stuck at this point.
They’ve made no effort to address the quarterback position as Andy Dalton has regressed the last few seasons and are wasting the talents of AJ Green, Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon who could help contenders elsewhere.
Cincinnati has some nice pieces on defense like Geno Atkins and Geno Atkins up front but the linebackers and secondary are question marks although Jessie Bates had a solid rookie season and will be nice to watch develop.
Their lone move in free agency so far was re-signing Bobby Hart who wasn’t very good last season and they decided to give him $21 million over the next three seasons.
2019 Too Early AFC North Power Rankings
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- Cleveland Browns
- Baltimore Ravens
- Cincinnati Bengals