Wed, 29 Nov 2023

Around the AFC North: Recapping Foes' Free Agency Gains and Losses

Baltimore Ravens
21 Mar 2023, 04:25 GMT+10

Clifton Brown

Here's a roundup of moves made by Baltimore's divisional rivals during the first week of free agency as of Monday morning, March 20:

Cincinnati Bengals: Orlando Brown Jr. Brings Major Presence to Protect Joe Burrow's Blindside

Players gained: LT Orlando Brown Jr.; S Nick Scott; G Cody Ford

Players lost: S Jessie Bates (Falcons); S Vonn Bell (Panthers); TE Hayden Hurst (Panthers); RB Sammy Perine (Broncos)

Overview: Brown gives Cincinnati a four-time Pro Bowler in his prime (26 years) to protect Joe Burrow's blindside. His four-year, $64 million deal reportedly includes a huge signing bonus. However, it is frontloaded to give the Bengals more cap flexibility in future seasons.

After winning a Super Bowl with the Chiefs, Brown will move to the AFC North and face the Ravens twice per year. Brown still has many ties to Baltimore, the franchise that drafted him in 2018 and that his late father, Orlando Brown Sr., played for. His presence will add another layer to a Bengals-Ravens rivalry that is already intense.

The departures of Bates and Bell were expected, but Cincinnati traded for Scott on Saturday, and he will be expected to start with Dax Hill (brother of Ravens running back Justice Hill) as the Bengals' new safety tandem next season.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Guard Isaac Seumolo Signed to Fortify Offensive Line

Players gained: G Isaac Seumolo, LB Cole Holcomb, CB Patrick Peterson, G Nate Herbig, OLB Elandon Roberts

Players lost: CB Cameron Sutton (Lions), LB Robert Spillane (Raiders), OLB Malik Reed (Dolphins), ILB Devin Bush (Seahawks)

Overview: The Steelers have been more active than usual during the first week of free agency and reportedly signed Seumolo to a three-year deal on Saturday to beef up their offensive line.

Seumolo was part of the Eagles' strong offensive line that helped them reach the Super Bowl. After playing left guard most of his career, Seumolo switched to right guard last season and had his best season with a pass-block win rate of 93.6%, according to ESPN stats. The additions of Seumolo and Herbig are part of Pittsburgh's efforts to improve pass protection for second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett.

After losing Sutton to Seattle, the Steelers responded by signing the 33-year-old Peterson, who believes the Steelers are poised for a return to the playoffs and wants to help them reach that goal.

Cleveland Browns: New Tight End Jordan Akins Has Chemistry With Deshaun Watson

Players gained: DT Dalvin Tomlinson, TE Jordan Akins, S Juan Thornill, DE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, TE Jordan Akins, DT Trysten Hill

Players lost: QB Jacoby Brissett (Commanders), G Hjalte Froholdt (Cardinals), DT Taven Bryan (Colts), DE Chase Winovich (Texans), LB Tae Davis (Falcons), CB Greedy Williams (Eagles).

Overview: Akins could be an under-the-radar signing who helps Cleveland's offense. He's coming off his best season with 37 catches for 495 yards and a career-high five touchdowns. The Browns still have No. 1 tight end David Njoku, and Akins already has chemistry with Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson from their days together with the Texans. Watson likes throwing to tight ends in the red zone, and Akins provides another familiar target.

Kellen Mond is currently Cleveland's backup quarterback behind Watson, but they could be shopping for another after losing Brissett in free agency.

More Baltimore News

Access More

Sign up for Baltimore News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!