Looking around the division, the Bengals seem to be having a pretty good free agent period relative to the Ravens, Steelers and Browns.
So far, the Browns have traded, cut or seen signed elsewhere LB Andra Davis, TE Kellen Winslow, CB Terry Cousins and LB Antwaan Peek, along with several more backup and special teams players. Against this they retained S Mike Adams and signed TE Robert Royal away from the Bills. Over at DPD, Steve says the new regime in Cleveland is focused on rebuilding through the draft and so are looking to acquire extra picks (as they did in the Winslow trade, which netted a second in the upcoming draft plus a selection in 2010) instead of players this year.
(Update: add Sean Jones to the list.)
Pittsburgh, which has never been a big player in free agency, continues to maintain a low profile in ’09. The team has yet to sign a single “outside” free agent, though between franchising Willie Colon and re-signing tackle Max Starks and guard Chris Kemoeatu, the Steelers have managed to keep their offensive line largely intact. That may or may not be a good thing, since the Pittsburgh o-line wasn’t exactly tops in the NFL last year. In fact, Chris at nicepickcowher.com writes that the retention of Kemoeatu is proof that the Steelers’ front office is trying to kill Ben Roethlisberger.
The biggest bloodbath in the division has been in Baltimore, where the Ravens cut CB Chris McAlister and DE Marques Douglas, and have watched LB Bart Scott and S Jim Leonhard sign with the Jets, and starting center Jason Brown leave for a big payday in St. Louis. Longtime kicker Matt Stover isn’t being invited back, either, though iconic Baltimore LB Ray Lewis will apparently return after drawing no interest in free agency. And word comes today that WR Derrick Mason wants either a raise or to be released. On the plus side, the Ravens have signed CB Domonique Foxworth from Atlanta and center Matt Birk from Minnesota.