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Perfect Off-Season: AFC North Edition!

Updated: Feb 16


There's no such thing as "perfect", but in this scenario I get to play GM for a day and pretend the offseason are perfect!


This series is dependent on every other team, so you won't see the same player be signed to multiple teams.


BUT, this won't be insanely detailed, and it will be mainly offense based. So, I will mention the salary cap and draft pick implications, but I'm not going to include an entire salary cap breakdown.


That being said, let's breakdown the AFC North and what moves I think each team should be making in the 2022 Offseason!


** I made some alterations to the AFC East Article, so click here to check that out.


Pittsburgh Steelers

Last Year's Record: 9-7-1

2022 Estimated Cap Space: $34,477,415

2022 Draft Picks: 1st (1), 2nd (1), 3rd (1), 6th (1), 7th (2)


Notable Free Agents; Ben Roethlisberger (QB), Joe Haden (CB), Juju Smith-Schuster (WR), Eric Ebron (TE), Trai Turner (OL), and Terrell Edmonds (S).


Big Ben is expected to hit retirement, which will save an additional $14 Million on top of their $34 Million of Cap Space. Regardless of Big Ben's retirement, the Steelers are actually not in a bad spot.


Now let's breakdown the offseason in it's main pillars, coaching changes, free agency, and the draft.


Coaching; It looked like for a moment Matt Canada's job might have been in danger, but the team has elected to keep him. Other than that, no coaching changes are likely to be made.


Free Agency; The Steelers definitely have some cap to work with, and considering they were a playoff team last year I'd say it's time to stay on that path. If I'm the Steelers, here are some moves I'm making on offense.

+ Dwayne Haskins (QB)

+ Juju Smith-Schuster (WR)

+ James Washington (WR)

+ Ray-Ray McCloud (WR)

- Ben Roethlisberger (QB)

- Kalen Ballage (RB)

- Eric Ebron (TE)


Najee Harris will continue to serve as the team's workhorse, and with Snell and McFarland to back him up, this should be a sturdy room.


If Juju was willing to sign a cheap deal last year to stay in Pittsburgh, I'm sure he'd be willing to do the same again. Hold onto James Washington, he's come up big when needed, and keep Ray-Ray as their returner and also helps build that depth.


As far as the rest of the team goes, Edmonds will likely end up walking, he hasn't produced like the 1st Round Pick they expected. While Haden and Trai Turner should be expected to return for the right amount. The Steelers also need to address the offensive line in free agency, some names to target would be Orlando Brown, Terron Armstead, Cam Robinson, Brandon Sherff, Austin Corbett, and the list goes on...


2022 NFL Draft; In the draft, I now have the Steelers picking (QB) Malik Willis, who they apparently LOVE. On top of that, I have the Steelers selecting an offensive lineman in the next few rounds.


So altogether, here's what the Steelers' starting offense would look like in 2022...


QB - Malik Willis

RB - Najee Harris

WR - Diontae Johnson

WR - Chase Claypool

WR - Juju Smith-Schuster

TE - Pat Freiermuth


How we feel about that #SteelersNation?

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Cleveland Browns

Last Year's Record: 8-9

2022 Estimated Cap Space: $28,045,300

2022 Draft Picks: 1st (1), 2nd (1), 3rd (1), 4th (2), 5th (1), 6th (1), 7th (1)


Notable Free Agents; Jadeveon Clowney (DE), Anthony Walker (LB), and David Njoku (TE).


No HUGE names free agents, and even if it were the case they have enough cap space to cover it. But with the money they do have, it's time to make some moves.


Now let's breakdown the offseason in it's main pillars, coaching changes, free agency, and the draft.


Coaching; There likely won't be any coaching changes this offseason for the Cleveland Browns...


Free Agency; The Browns have been close to making a playoff run for a few years now, and with all the questions surrounding Baker, it's time to make that final push before hitting the reset button. If I'm the Browns, here are some moves I'm making on offense.

+ D'Ernest Johnson (RB)

- Rashard Higgins (WR)

- David Njoku (TE)


Not much to be done here, most of the prioritization will be done defensively or on the offensive line.


Baker will have his chance to continue to serve as the Browns QB1, while Case Keenum will keep close tabs on him and be ready to take the wheel if needed.


D'Ernest Johnson could easily be grabbed by another team, but considering he's a restricted free agent, it would be easy to keep him. He really solidifies an already insane RB room.


Jarvis Landry and Donovan Peoples-Jones continue to headline the WR room, with former 2nd Rounder Anthony Schwartz seeing an expanded role. But I don't think they are done adding to the WR position.


David Njoku at this point would be a commodity. You already have two good TEs in Hooper and Bryant, use that money elsewhere.


As for the rest of the team, let Clowney walk, and bring in someone like Akiem Hicks to bolster that DL. The goal for the Browns should be to have among the best DL and OL in the league and have the foundation around that. Anthony Walker did well in his one year, so he should be brought back next to JOK.


2022 NFL Draft; I mentioned they weren't done adding to the WR room, and that's because I have the Browns drafting (WR) Garrett Wilson out of Ohio State. He's talented and would be great next to Landry. The Browns should also draft one or two more WRs in the 4th round or later for extra depth. I also have the Browns selecting (DT) Travon Walker in the second round to improve the defensive line.


So altogether, here's what the Steelers' starting offense would look like in 2022...


QB - Baker Mayfield

RB - Nick Chubb

RB - Kareem Hunt

WR - Jarvis Landry

WR - Garrett Wilson

TE - Austin Hooper


How we feel about that #DawgPound?

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Cincinnati Bengals

Last Year's Record: 10-7

2022 Estimated Cap Space: $59,151,979

2022 Draft Picks: 1st (1), 2nd (1), 3rd (1), 4th (2), 5th (1), 6th (1), 7th (2)


Notable Free Agents; Riley Reiff (OT), C.J. Uzomah (TE), Larry Ogunjobi (DT), and Jessie Bates III (S).


The Bengals are expected to have the 3rd Highest Cap Space heading into the 2022 offseason, and given the fact that as I type this the Bengals are about to play in the AFC Championship Game. So regardless of what happens this year, the Bengals will need to be buyers.


Now let's breakdown the offseason in it's main pillars, coaching changes, free agency, and the draft.


Coaching; It looks like Bengals OC Brian Callahan could possibly be in the running for some Head Coaching jobs, but at the moment he's expected to stay. Other than that, no coaching changes are expected.


Free Agency; As for playmakers, the idea is pretty simple. If I'm the Bengals, here are some moves I'm making on offense.

+ Brandon Allen (QB)

+ DeAndre Carter (WR/KR/PR)

+ Mike Thomas (WR)

+ C.J. Uzomah (TE)

- Auden Tate (WR)


Brandon Allen has proved very serviceable as backup to Joe Burrow when needed, so why fix it if it's not broken!


DeAndre Carter actually made some great plays for the WFT this past season, he would add depth to the position and act as a returner for them. Auden Tate has definitely had his moments, but I'm sure he wouldn't mind a change of scenery and an opportunity to have a role elsewhere.


C.J. Uzomah has seen roughly a 15% target share of his last 6 games played, and as he heals from his ACL injury the previous year, he just continues to make more and more plays for this offense. Plus he's really become one of the favorites.


As for the rest of the team, first thing is the Bengals have got to take care of their own. Give Jessie Bates III the contract he deserves, and re-sign Ogunjobi. Now, let Riley Reiff walk and sign a viable OL like Morgan Moses, Trent Brown, or Brandon Scherff. I'd also like to see them invest in some defensive names like Harold Landry or Foyesade Oluokun. Then there's always the veterans like Mario Addison, Ndamukong Suh, and Jason Pierre-Paul who are there for the ride and can contribute.


2022 NFL Draft; In the 2022 Draft I have the Cincinnati Bengals selecting (OT) Bernard Raimann in the first round and I actually have them doubling up on OL in the second round with (OL) Ed Ingram. Keeping Burrow safe is the HIGHEST priority.


So altogether, here's what the Bengals' starting offense would look like in 2022...


QB - Joe Burrow

RB - Joe Mixon

WR - Ja'Marr Chase

WR - Tee Higgins

WR - Tyler Boyd

TE - C.J. Uzomah


#WhoDey 🔥

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Baltimore Ravens

Last Year's Record: 8-9

2022 Estimated Cap Space: $9,771,945

2022 Draft Picks: 1st (1), 2nd (1), 3rd (2), 4th (5), 6th (1)


Notable Free Agents; Calais Campbell (DE), Brandon Williams (DT), Anthony Averett (CB), and Bradley Bozeman (OL).


There are some big names that need to be re-signed like Campbell and Williams. While names like Averett and Bozeman are due for larger contracts than the sub $1 Million they are making now. It doesn't leave a ton of room to make adjustments.


Now let's breakdown the offseason in it's main pillars, coaching changes, free agency, and the draft.


Coaching; For a moment it was looking like John Harbaugh's job might have been in danger, but he's still here for the ride. They did let Wink Martindale walk recently, and are expected to hire Mike Macdonald in his place. Other than that, no changes are to be expected.


Free Agency; There are some tough decisions ahead for Baltimore, and for a team wanting to make a playoff run, it's not a great spot to be in. If I'm the Ravens, here are some moves I'm making on offense.

+ Patrick Ricard (FB)

+ Antonio Brown (WR)

- Josh Johnson (QB)

- Devonta Freeman (RB)

- Latavius Murray (RB)

- Sammy Watkins (WR)


Tyler Huntley served as a good backup to Lamar this past year, and he'll continue to develop as well. Johnson will likely be in the running for a backup job elsewhere in the league.


For the RBs, with Dobbins and Edwards returning from injury, there's no longer a need for Freeman or Murray. Both of which will likely find roles on another roster, and help clear a bit of cap space.


The WR room has the improving Rashod Bateman next to an explosive Marquise Brown, but it feels like it's been missing this 3rd piece. Antonio Brown has already stated that he wants to play for the Ravens, and he would have the chance to play with his cousin there if they would take him. Plus, he wouldn't be expensive given his age and outbursts.


As for the rest of the team, Brandon Williams should be brought back on one year deals, and given his increased age it should be somewhat cheaper. Let Calais Campbell, who's also up there in age walk too. There's always different ways to move money around, so if possible Bozeman could be signed for about $10 Million, and Averett for roughly $12 Million deals.


2022 NFL Draft; In the 2022 Draft I have the Baltimore Ravens selecting (DE) David Ojabo in the first round to fill the potential void of Campbell. Then in the second round I have them taking (OL) Zion Johnson to help beef up the most important part of the offense.


So altogether, here's what the Ravens' starting offense would look like in 2022...


QB - Lamar Jackson

RB - J.K. Dobbins

WR - Marquise Browns

WR - Rashod Bateman

WR - Antonio Brown

TE - Mark Andrews


Feeling good #RavensFlock?

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