North Notes: Johnson, Lions, Suh

New Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo is signing the praises of offseason pickup Josh McCown, but it’s a rite of spring at this point for a Cleveland OC to speak highly of his QB, Bud Shaw of the Northeast Ohio Media Group writes. Shaw contrasted Kyle Shanahan‘s comments on Johnny Manziel last year with DeFilippo’s comments on McCown this year and the two read pretty similarly. Of course, we know how things turned out with Manziel in 2014. Here’s more from the AFC and NFC North..

  • UDFA safety Isaiah Johnson chose to sign with the Lions because of the chance that he could fill the void if James Ihedigbo doesn’t work out his contract dispute, Kyle Meinke of writes. “(That) was in there a little bit,” Johnson said of his reasoning for picking Detroit. “Just looking at the opportunity. Everyone knows we’re coming in and trying to fight for theirs, and it’s just the game of football. It’s a business now. So I got to be a business.” Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that Johnson reportedly got a $12K signing bonus from the Lions, the highest sum of any UDFA on the team. Detroit must be high on the youngster, because that’s the same kind of financial commitment they made to LaAdrian Waddle, Cornelius Lucas and Joseph Fauria the last two years and all three of those players remain on the roster.
  • After losing defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley, and C.J. Mosley this offseason, the folks at Football Outsiders (ESPN Insider sub. req’d) are projecting that the Lions will finish with a 7-9 record for this year. Of course, it also doesn’t help that Detroit has one of the toughest schedules in the league this season.
  • The Ravens will likely go with two quarterbacks – Joe Flacco and Matt Schaub – on the 53-man roster, Jamison Hensley of writes. After the release of Keith Wenning, Bryn Renner has the edge over undrafted rookie Jerry Lovelocke to get the No. 3 spot and go on the practice squad.
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