North Notes: Le’Veon, Edsall, Bengals, Browns

Le’Veon Bell recently stated (through song, that is) that he’d like $15MM per season on his next contract with the Steelers, but as Joel Corry of tweets, that’s simply not going to happen. As Corry notes, the top end of the running back market has stagnated, and it’s the middle class of runners that is seeing a pay increase. Adrian Peterson is still on top in terms of running back deals, earning more than $14MM per year; No. 2 is LeSean McCoy, but he’s all the way down at $8.01MM annually. The burgeoning section of running back pacts is in the $5-8MM range, which Bell, if he can stay healthy, will presumably top. But a running back coming off a major injury redefining his positional market? Highly unlikely.

Here’s more from the North divisions:

  • The Lions hired former UConn/Maryland head coach Randy Edsall as director of football research/special projects back in January, and today Jim Caldwell explained exactly what Edsall will be up to during the season. “He’s going to do a little bit of advanced scouting for us, taking a look at teams from a defensive standpoint to help our offense,” Caldwell told Tim Twentyman of “We’re going to have him work with a little bit of time management issues, clock management issues. Across the board, there’s going to be quite a few things.” Twentyman compared Edsall’s role to that of Jim Tressel‘s with the Colts in 2011, while Ernie Adams has done similar work with the Patriots for many years.
  • The best contract on the Bengals‘ roster is that of quarterback Andy Dalton, writes Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap, who notes that Cincinnati only fully guaranteed Dalton $17MM. The rest of the deal is essentially a pay-as-you-go deal, with the Bengals having the option of getting out down the road. The worst pact, per Fitzgerald, is defensive tackle Domata Peko‘s two-year deal, not due to its poor structure but simply because the Bengals appeared to have overvalued Peko.
  • While the Bengals don’t have many poor contracts to choose from, the Browns are lacking in team-friendly deals, but tackle Joe Thomas has been so productive that Fitzgerald believes the veteran has earned his contract. Unfortunately, Cleveland has a long track record of questionable pacts, and the worst might be linebacker Paul Kruger, who signed a five-year, $40.5MM after making just six career starts with the Ravens.
  • Earlier today, the Lions officially released veteran linebacker Stephen Tulloch after months of speculation that they would do so. Detroit saved $6MM against the cap by making the move now (and waiting until Tulloch got healthy to cut him).
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