AFC North: Ravens Center Matt Birk Retires

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The Pittsburgh Steelers are set to face a mass exodus of players this offseason due to free agency, as well as several veteran players being salary cap casualties. They also must decide what, if any, tenders they place on their restricted free agents.

As Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh post Gazette reports, wide receiver Emmanuel Sander will almost certainly be tendered as the two sides look to work out a long-term deal this offseason:

Emmanuel Sanders is an easy decision. They will give him the lower offer because he would bring third-round compensation as a draft pick in that round. No one signed Mike Wallace last year for similar compensation as an RFA.

Sanders is a priority after the Steelers are expected to let free agent Mike Wallace walk, and they can’t afford to lose two of their top-3 receivers in the same offseason.
As for Pittsburgh’s top-2 runningbacks, Johnathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman, it won’t take much to bring them back:

Since Redman was not drafted, there would be no compensation required for the lower tender, which would only give the Steelers the right of first refusal if a team signed him. Dwyer was a sixth-round pick, so the Steelers would receive a sixth-round choice for him in return at the lower tender amount.

The Baltimore Ravens linebacking corp will look very different in 2013. Ray Lewis is set to retire, and Paul Kruger could leave via free agency. One player who will be expected to step up and ease their losses will be Jameel McClain, who finished last season on injured reserve with a spinal cord contusion. He’ll be playing one of the two inside linebacker spots, and his recovery has been positive since suffering the injury in a December loss to the Washington Redskins.
McClain started 13 games and had 79 tackles to finish third on the team last season.

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Tags: AFC North Isaac Redman Jameel McClain Johnathan Dwyer Matt Birk