AFC North Blog
Andrew Hawkins is close to taking his talents from Ohio to another place in Ohio.
Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports that the Browns have signed the restricted free agent to a four-year offer sheet. As a restricted free agent, the Bengals now have seven days to match the offer and retain Hawkins or let him go play for their AFC North rival. And because Hawkins was given an original-pick tender, the Bengals will receive no compensation if they lose the undrafted slot receiver.
Hawkins turned 28 years old yesterday.
Just one year after landing in Cleveland via a trade with the Dolphins, Devone Bess has been cut by the Browns. Bess still had two years left on his three year deal and will now enter the free agent pool.
It's not a revelation by any means, but this is nice to hear from the editor of the Bengals' official website, Geoff Hobson:
"(BenJarvus) Green-Ellis had 50 more carries last season, but (Giovani) Bernard had two more touches and, according to [Pro Football Focus], took 155 more snaps. After a spectacular NFL Rookie of the Year finalist season, Bernard is only going to get more work and no doubt is going to border on 300 touches."
Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith said earlier this week that he would like to see the team add a "move-the-chains guy" at receiver. Could Hakeem Nicks fit that bill? Well, for what it's worth, ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley wrote Saturday that Baltimore "could end up" with the soon-to-be free agent.
Nicks caught 56 passes -- none of which went for scores -- for 896 yards this season.
While one tight end is gonna have to make do with a one-year pact right now, another got some extended job security Friday. The Ravens and tight end Dennis Pitta agreed to terms on a five-year deal worth $32 million, league sources told The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson.
"I could not be more excited to remain a Baltimore Raven," Pitta said in a statement. "There is no better organization or fan base in sports. To be given the opportunity to continue my career here is incredible. This organization drafted me and has always stood by me, especially during my difficult recovery last season – and for that, I am extremely grateful."
Pitta missed all but four games this season as he rehabbed a surgically repaired right hip. He fractured and dislocated it in July. In those four games, Pitta caught 20 passes.