The next division to grade is the AFC North. In a division that has been dominated by the Bengals for the last two seasons, some would say that the three other teams in this conference could also make a push for the postseason this season. Did the Ravens do enough to compete with the Bengals or are the Browns and Steelers destined to come back to the postseason? Here are my offseason grades for every team in the AFC North so far.
Cincinnati Bengals: B+
Despite seeing pro bowl safety Jessie Bates leave for the Falcons, I am still very high on the Bengals this season and expect them to win the division again this upcoming season. They got major o-line help with Orlando Brown signing a four-year deal with the Bengals to help Joe Burrow and pretty much have retained their entire offense and defense as well. It will be interesting to see if they make more moves down the road but this Bengals team is in pretty good shape for years to come.
Baltimore Ravens: B
With a lot of speculation surrounding Lamar Jackson’s future with the team, it looks like he will be back with a long term deal or not after pulling off in my eyes a stunner by signing wideout Odell Beckham Jr to a one-year contract. If he is healthy along with Jackson and to pair him up with tight end Mark Andrews, that is a scary offense. The Ravens also signed receiver Nelson Agholor as well so this offense has a chance to be something really special. Though I still think they’re a tier below the Bengals, the Ravens has definitely made significant enough moves to be a threat in the North.
Pittsburgh Steelers: C+
Not a whole lot of headlining moves for the Steelers to get excited about with maybe the exception of cornerback Patrick Peterson signing with the team. Other than that, the Steelers are still not as good as the Ravens and Cincinnati. Even though they finished down the stretch winning their last four games, their offense still lacks an identity and unless they make more moves on offense whether it’s later on in the offseason or in the draft, they’re not there yet.
Cleveland Browns: C
The Browns are an interesting team to understand. They have been relatively quiet all offseason and it begs the question about what are they going to do the rest of the way? If anything they acquired receiver Elijah Moore from the New York Jets to boost their receiving core but that’s pretty much it. I am not high on the Browns so far this offseason or for this upcoming season.