AFC North Notes: Manziel, Forsett, Steelers

According to the 2014 NFL rankings in offense, defense, and special teams, the Bengals begin their season by playing half of the league’s top ten teams, Geoff Hobson of writes. The Bengals could get a break playing four new coaching staffs on the road in the Bills, Broncos, Raiders, and 49ers, but it figures to be a tough path any way you slice it. All in all, the Bengals are estimated to have the second-toughest strength of schedule in the NFL. More from the AFC North..

  • A Browns player admits to Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report that he openly wondered to a teammate what sort of shape the club would be in if Cleveland had selected Teddy Bridgewater last May instead of Johnny Manziel. Cleveland had been set to pick 26th overall before trading up to No. 22 to nab Manziel — Bridgewater eventually went 32nd overall to Minnesota.
  • While Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun isn’t buying chatter about Ravens running back Justin Forsett following Gary Kubiak to the Broncos, he definitely wouldn’t be surprised if tight end Owen Daniels lands in Denver this offseason.
  • The agent for Steelers linebacker James Harrison tells Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Twitter link) that his client will make an announcement about his future before the new league year begins on March 10. Harrison doesn’t have a contract for 2015, and could decide to call it a career — the veteran will turn 37 this May.
  • In his examination of the Steelers‘ offseason, Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap says that the team will have to be “very careful” with Jason Worilds, since he can be very inconsistent and isn’t an elite pass rusher. In Fitzgerald’s view, the Steelers would be overpaying Worilds if they use the transition tag on him again.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

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