AFC North Notes: Browns, Sheard, Austin

It has been previously reported that Jabaal Sheard and the Browns have had preliminary talks on a new deal but agent Drew Rosenhaus indicated to reporters last night that the two sides have talked quite a bit. “What I can say is we’ve done some back and forth, so we’ve had some extensive negotiations,” said Rosenhaus, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “But I wouldn’t say anything is close at this time.” When asked if a new deal could be struck before the start of the season, Rosenhaus declined to give an answer. More out of the AFC North..

  • Browns newcomer Miles Austin is ready to go, writes John Kampf of The Morning Journal. New receivers Andrew Hawkins and Nate Burleson are expected to play large roles this year, but Cleveland could also use a healthy and productive Austin.
  • Veteran running back Justin Forsett, who was signed to a one-year, $730K contract in March, could play a key role for the Ravens if Ray Rice is suspended at the beginning of the season, writes Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. Forsett is coming off an injury-plagued season with the Jaguars where he played in just nine games and rushed for 31 yards on six carries before being placed on injured reserve thanks to a stress fracture and a turf toe injury.
  • Former Rams safety Darian Stewart, who signed a one-year, $1.3MM deal with the Ravens this offseason, is looking like the clear leader in a competition with Jeromy Miles and rookie Terrence Brooks, Wilson writes.
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