NFL Betting: AFC North Free Agency Thoughts Week 1

NFL Betting: AFC North Free Agency Thoughts Week 1

Written by on March 25, 2020

While the Cleveland Browns failed to come close to living up to their preseason playoff expectations in 2019, the Baltimore Ravens finished tied for the best regular season record in the NFL. While Cincinnati finished with the worst record in all of football and Pittsburgh played some admirable football in the face of losing Ben Roethlisberger before the 2019 campaign, the AFC North could look a lot different in 2020 – or eerily similar than it did a year ago. Following a flurry of free agent moves, let’s find out how each team did during this year’s free agent signing period and what could lie ahead for each AFC North based franchise with their NFL Odds and Super Bowl Odds Updated.

AFC North Free Agency Thoughts Week 1

Baltimore Ravens

Additions/players brought back:

  • EDGE Calais Campbell (via trade)
  • EDGE Matthew Judon (franchise tag)
  • C Matt Skura (original-round tender)
  • DI Michael Brockers (signed for three years, $30 million, $21 million guaranteed)
  • CB Jimmy Smith (re-signed for one year, up to $6 million)
  • S Anthony Levine (re-signed)

Losses:

  • DI Michael Pierce
  • S Tony Jefferson (cut)
  • CB Brandon Carr
  • TE Hayden Hurst (via trade)
  • DI Chris Wormley (via trade)

Let me start by saying that, with reigning MVP Lamar Jackson under center, Baltimore Ravens looks like a team that will challenge for Super Bowl berths for the next decade at the very least. The Ravens made a great addition by trading just a fifth-round pick for veteran defensive lineman Calais Campbell while making another smart move by putting the franchise tag on edge rusher Matthew Judon. Baltimore made another great addition to their defense by signing veteran defensive lineman Michael Brockers to replace Michael Pierce. The Ravens also added veteran cornerback Jimmy Smith on a one-year deal while re-signing safety Anthony Levine. Overall, the Ravens had a fine free agent signing period.

  • Grade: B
  • Odds to Win the AFC North: -200
  • Odds to Win AFC: +400
  • Odds to Win Super Bowl: +700

Cincinnati Bengals

Additions/players brought back:

  • WR A.J. Green (franchise tag)
  • CB Mackensie Alexander (signed for one year, $4 million)
  • DI D.J. Reader (signed for four years, $53 million)
  • CB Trae Waynes (signed for three years, $42 million)

Losses:

  • DI Andrew Billings
  • CB Darqueze Dennard
  • T Cordy Glenn (cut)
  • LB Nick Vigil
  • G John Miller (cut)
  • CB B.W. Webb
  • TE Tyler Eifert

Cincinnati Bengals made a great move by using their franchise tag on perennial Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green and they made another good move by signing veteran defensive lineman D.J. Reader and veteran cornerbacks Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander. Cincinnati will miss play-making tight end Tyler Eifert, but overall, the Bengals didn’t bungle it!

  • Grade: C
  • Odds to Win the AFC North: +2500
  • Odds to Win AFC: +7000
  • Odds to Win Super Bowl: +15000

Cleveland Browns

Additions/players brought back:

  • RB Kareem Hunt (second-round tender)
  • QB Case Keenum (signed for three years $18 million, $10 million)
  • FB Andy Janovich (via trade)
  • T Jack Conklin (signed for three years, $42 million, $30 million guaranteed)
  • TE Austin Hooper (signed for four years, $44 million, $23 million guaranteed)
  • S Karl Joseph (signed for one year)
  • DI Andrew Billings (signed for one year, $3.5 million guaranteed)
  • CB Kevin Johnson (signed for one year, $3.5 million)
  • S Andrew Sendejo (signed for one year, $2.25 million)

Losses:

  • S Damarious Randall
  • LB Joe Schobert
  • CB T.J. Carrie (cut)
  • T Greg Robinson

The Cleveland Browns made a great addition by signing veteran tackle Jack Conklin to help protect Baker Mayfield and they made another smart move by retaining running back Kareem Hunt to give them a nice running punch alongside Nick Chubb. Cleveland also made a handful of other signings on the offensive side of the ball, starting with the addition of veteran quarterback Case Keenum. The Browns also gave Mayfield a nice target to throw to in veteran tight end Austin Hooper. Cleveland didn’t suffer any very significant losses in free agency and that’s a good thing for a team that underachieved across the board a year ago.

  • Grade: C
  • Odds to Win the AFC North: +450
  • Odds to Win AFC: +1700
  • Odds to Win Super Bowl: +3300

Pittsburgh Steelers

Additions/players brought back:

  • EDGE Bud Dupree (franchise tag)
  • FB Derek Watt (signed for three-years, $9.75 million, $3.25 million guaranteed)
  • G Stefen Wisniewski (signed for two-years)
  • TE Eric Ebron (signed for two-years, $12 million)
  • DI Chris Wormley (via trade)

Losses:

  • DI Javon Hargrave
  • CB Artie Burns
  • LB Mark Barron (cut)
  • S Sean Davis
  • T Anthony Chickillo (cut)

As always it seems, the Pittsburgh Steelers made a bunch of wise and cost efficient moves by using their franchise tag on star linebacker Bud Dupree while signing fullback Derek Watt, guard Stefen Wisniewski and tight end Eric Ebron while trading for veteran defensive lineman Chris Wormley. Oh yeah, Pittsburgh also didn’t suffer any significant losses, so there’s that as well!

  • Grade: B
  • Odds to Win the AFC North: +350
  • Odds to Win AFC: +1100
  • Odds to Win Super Bowl: +2000
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