North Notes: LaFell, Levy, Garoppolo

Brandon LaFell turned in a strong 2016 for the Bengals after signing a modest one-year, $2.5MM deal with the club last offseason. As a result, Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer says that LaFell is one of Cincinnati’s top free agent priorities, as the Bengals believe his strong route-running skills and his red zone presence would be even more effective if they can get fully healthy seasons from A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert. LaFell indicated that he would like to return, though he should attract plenty of attention on the open market if he does not re-up with Cincinnati before free agency opens.

Now for more from the league’s North divisions:

  • The Lions may approach linebacker DeAndre Levy about a restructure that allows him to make the same amount of money that he would earn under his current deal if he stays healthy, but Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press says that, from Levy’s perspective, it may be best to rebuff any such efforts. After all, if Levy were to be released, plenty of teams would be happy to pay him and gamble on his health (Twitter links).
  • The Lions need to address their pass defense in a big way, having yielded the highest completion percentage in modern NFL history (72.7%) in 2016. Nate Atkins of MLive.com says that Detroit is more likely to focus on pass rushers and cornerbacks, but he adds that the team should not ignore the safety position either, especially since Glover Quin is in his 30s and Tavon Wilson is entering the final year of his contract. To that end, Atkins names a few safeties the team could select in this year’s draft.
  • Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer believes that if the bidding for Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo gets high enough, the Browns should be willing to send their No. 1 overall pick to New England to acquire him. After all, if they’re willing to spend that pick on UNC signal-caller Mitch Trubisky, whose collegiate experience is limited, they should be willing to use that selection on a QB who has a little professional experience and who has a lot of upside in his own right.
  • Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes that the biggest objective for the Steelers this offseason is to find an outside linebacker that can generate consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Bud Dupree showed some promise down the stretch in 2016, but Jarvis Jones is unlikely to return, and if the club re-signs the ageless James Harrison, Dulac believes it would not make much sense to acquire another veteran free agent OLB. As such, he writes that Pittsburgh could once again address the position in the first round of the draft.
  • We learned earlier today that former Ravens first-rounder Matt Elam was arrested on serious drug charges in Miami.
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13 comments on “North Notes: LaFell, Levy, Garoppolo

  1. tylerall5

    I don’t see an LB taken in the first round by the Steelers this year.

  2. Motown_Madness44

    The browns would be clueless to give up anything more than a 3rd for jimmy g.

  3. Wasilewski

    It is customary to start the bidding at the round where the guy was drafted. So I have no problem with the Browns offering the SECOND round 2 pick for JG. Bear in mind the poor record of departed Brady backups. Is there any evidence the Browns would be willing to spend the #1 overall on Trubisky? I don’t think so, so MKC’s argument for trading #1 to NE is hogwash. The best bet for the Browns is: acquire a FA QB, continue to develop Kessler (who actually did well last season), trade out of #1 overall, NOT for a QB, but to get as many “best available players” from as many round 1, 2 and 3 draft positions as possible.

    • SportsCoach

      Normally I would agree with trading down from one, but actually they should stay put. Garrett is the best player in the draft, in a position of need. Now if we got overpaid for the pick, then I would say, sure go for it, but we need to stay at number one

      Mary Kay Cabot doesn’t know what she is talking about it seems anymore. She has more access to information than we do, but her opinions on the Browns have been very bad, and I don’t even read the article if she’s in it anymore.

  4. yourtribe

    Is she nuts? He was taken at the bottom of the 2D round. Tr├╝bisky will b top 10. So to Mary Kay that makes them equal!!! Wow.

  5. JoshG

    I Would consider doing a second rounder for Jimmy G, maybe even that #12 pick if they truly believe he is a franchise QB… not the #1

    • yourtribe

      I would not give up the 12 for a guy taken 64 and has played a handful of quarters. And then got hurt.

  6. SportsCoach

    Mary Kay Cabot needs to stop being a sports writer. Her words are getting kind of dumb now. The Browns organization even hinted at the fact they are not willing to give up a first round pick for Grappolo so she needs to read their statements and use sense. I can do a better job of writing for that newspaper than she does.

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