AFC North Notes: Browns, Gordon, Ravens

There are no guarantees that Manziel, even if he embraces treatment, can be the cornerstone of the Browns franchise for years to come. Still, Manziel appears to be seeking help for his problem in treatment and they need to stand behind him, Maria Ridenour of the Beacon Journal writes. More from the AFC North..

  • Wide receiver Josh Gordon hasn’t met with the Browns since the end of the season, according to Albert Breer of (on Twitter). That might explain the disappointment reflected in the statement released by GM Ray Farmer earlier this week. Gordon, one of the most naturally gifted receivers in the game today, will be suspended for at least a year after failing yet another substance abuse test.
  • A league source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that Gordon will soon be filing a grievance with the assistance of the NFLPA challenging the suspension he received for missing a walk-through practice before the Browns’ season finale. The game check itself is secondary. Gordon is looking to get credit for a sixth game in 2014 and, in turn, a year of credit toward free agency. If Gordon loses the grievance (and gets reinstated), he won’t be eligible for unrestricted free agency until after the 2017 season. If he wins the grievance, he’ll be only one season away from hitting the market.
  • The Ravens‘ brain trust is currently at owner Steve Bisciotti’s Florida home and the top item on the agenda is probably creating more cap space, Jamison Hensley of writes. The Ravens won’t have much cap room, if any at all, unless they make cuts, sign players to extensions, or get players to agree to pay cuts. The team could start by releasing defensive tackle Haloti Ngata ($8.5MM) and defensive end Chris Canty ($2.66MM) for a combined savings of $11.1MM. Alternatively, they could look into an extensions for Ngata, guard Marshal Yanda, punter Sam Koch, and kicker Justin Tucker (restricted free agent). Meanwhile, cornerback Lardarius Webb and wide receiver Jacoby Jones could be asked to take a pay cut.
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