AFC North Rumors: RG3, Browns, Ravens

Here’s the latest on the AFC North as we wrap up one of the final Sundays without football on the 2016 calendar.

  • Reports pegged Robert Griffin III‘s first offseason in Cleveland as a hit-and-miss endeavor, and Josh McCown remains on the Browns‘ roster after being the team’s most effective starter during 2015. But Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer still expects RG3 to win the job. The longtime Browns reporter notes the team will not be in a hurry to bestow that starting distinction upon Griffin, wanting the fifth-year passer to truly earn the job rather than allow his contract status — he’s signed on a three-year, $21MM deal, while McCown is signed for three years and $14MM — provide the difference.
  • The Browns do not have a deep depth chart at running back, but the rebuilding team won’t look to sign a veteran, Cabot writes. She categorizes the desire to supplement Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson as a low priority, pointing to Terrell Watson and Glenn Winston as players they’re eager to see in training camp. Despite the Browns also losing Mitchell Schwartz and Alex Mack in free agency, Cabot characterizes the Browns as set to be a force on the ground thanks to improved blocking schemes.
  • Browns inside linebackers coach Johnny Holland told Dan Labbe of the Plain Dealer the team will attempt to further develop Christian Kirksey as a pass-rusher entering his third season. Describing Ray Horton‘s system as one that will benefit a player who’s expected to lock down a starting job at inside linebacker after being a part-time cog in that role the past two years, Holland notes Kirksey’s athleticism will enable this multifaceted approach. Kirksey has 5.5 sacks in his first two years, which¬†have included 13 total starts.
  • The Ravens like rookie second-round pick Kamalei Correa‘s versatility, and Clifton Brown of said the former Boise State linebacker could see time at both inside and outside linebacker as a rookie. Correa served as primarily a pass-rusher in Idaho over the past three seasons, registering 19 sacks, but received reps on the inside in the Ravens’ 3-4 scheme during the offseason.
  • Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin addressed the team’s pass-catching situation, their potential to add another free agent and his own status in Cincinnati.
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