North Notes: Ravens, Farmer, Suh

Haloti Ngata‘s future is the most pressing question facing the Ravens this offseason, according to Jamison Hensley of Ngata, 31, is set to count $16MM against Baltimore’s cap in 2015. While he did rate as the ninth-best 3-4 defensive end among 47 qualifiers per Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Ngata was suspended for four games after violating the league’s PED policy. Hensley also expects the Ravens to target players who get cut in free agency. He lists some names to watch, including Bucs receiver Vincent Jackson, 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, and Jets running back Chris Johnson. Here’s a look at the AFC and NFC North..

  • Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has the latest on the TextGate controversy, reporting that Browns GM Ray Farmer actually sent messages to a non-coaching employee on the sidelines who then relayed those messages to the coaching staff. Florio also surmises that Farmer could be something of a “fall guy” for the scandal, adding that owner Jimmy Haslam could have been the one directing Farmer.
  • The Lions are expressing confidence that they’ll retain Ndamukong Suh, but that doesn’t mean much to Michael Rothstein of since they’ve been saying the same thing for a year now. Until something is signed or announced, Rothstein cautions fans not to fully believe that Suh will be back. In theory, the Lions could also use the franchise tag to keep Suh, but that would cost them upwards of $26MM.
  • More from Rothstein, who looked at impending Lions free agent Dan Orlovsky. The 10-year veteran was signed to back up starter Matthew Stafford and, fortunately for Detroit, Stafford did not miss a snap all year. Rothstein says it wouldn’t be surprising to see Orlovsky back with Detroit when considering his experience and low cost.
  • Packers linebacker Sam Barrington broke a bit of news on Twitter today when he congratulated Ron Zook on becoming the team’s new special teams coordinator. Zook, of course, previously served as head coach at the University of Florida and the University of Illinois.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.

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