AFC North Notes: Steelers, Ravens, Browns

Here’s a look at the AFC North:

  • Guard Ramon Foster is entering his tenth season with the Steelers, but it could be his last, Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes. Foster’s contract expires after the season, and the Steelers might prefer to go with a younger option next year, such as backup B.J. Finney. Finney, who will be a 27-year-old restricted free agent in March, has filled in capably for Foster in four games over the last two seasons.
  • The Ravens kept four tight ends last season, but there is no assurance that will be the plan this year, Edward Lee of The Baltimore Sun writes. First-round pick Hayden Hurst and third-round pick Mark Andrews are locks for the roster, leaving returning veterans Nick Boyle and Maxx Williams on the bubble. Boyle and Williams offer blocking prowess, but they combined for just 289 receiving yards last year. That was barely more than half of the yards compiled by Benjamin Watson, who left in the offseason to sign with the Saints.
  • The Browns are so bullish on their defensive ends that they passed on Bradley Chubb at No. 4 overall in order to select Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward. That decision rankled some fans, but the Browns still have solid depth at the position. That depth could leave former second-round pick Nate Orchard without a job, Mary Kay Cabot of writes. Orchard second in the nation with 18.5 sacks as a college senior at Utah, but he has yet to produce at the pro level. He saw time in all 16 games in 2017, but started only one and finished out with 25 tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble and one recovery.
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