AFC North Notes: Clarke, Bengals, Steelers

There should be a number of interesting divisional races in the NFL this season, but according to sports betting site, none are currently as up in the air as the AFC North. It’s the only division in the league without a single favorites, as both the Bengals and Steelers are given equal 2/1 odds at coming out on top, while the Ravens are right behind. Even the Browns, at 5/1, aren’t viewed as as much of a long shot as most other “fourth-place” clubs around the league.

As we look forward to seeing how the AFC North plays out in 2014, let’s check in on a few of the latest updates out of the division…

  • In addition to confirming the signing of second-round running back Jeremy Hill, news which Hill himself broke yesterday, the Bengals also announced that they’ve signed third-round defensive end Will Clarke (Twitter link). Per Jason Fitzgerald’s figures at, the West Virginia defender will be in line for a signing bonus worth about $545K with a four-year base value near $2.8MM.
  • While a number of teams handed out modest signing bonuses to most or all of their undrafted free agent signings, the Bengals weren’t one of those clubs. According to Coley Harvey of, only four of Cincinnati’s 11 UDFA additions receiving signing bonuses, worth just $26K in total. We’ve added the new figures, including an $8K bonus for wideout Colin Lockett, to our own story on the Bengals’ post-draft signings.
  • As Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes in his preview of the Steelers‘ OTAs, one of the questions facing Pittsburgh is whether any additional roster moves are on the way when the team frees up $8.5MM in cap space next week due to the release of LaMarr Woodley. Robinson also examines the receiving corps and the roles that rookies like Dri Archer and Ryan Shazier will play, among other topics.
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