The AFC North was the most competitive division in the NFL last year, and the division saw the Pittsburgh Steelers claw their way to the division title at 11-5. The Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens were on the cusp of claiming yet another AFC North division title, but still made the postseason regardless of not winning the division. The Cleveland Browns had a promising start to the year, only to fade away in the second half of the season.
Now the division turns it's attention to free agency in hopes of finding the pieces of the puzzle necessary to help their team not just compete, but to win the division and make the postseason. Here is a breakdown of all free agent additions, and subtractions, within the AFC North through one week of free agency.
The Ravens have seemingly lost the most players via free agency than any other team who calls the AFC North home. Torrey Smith is gone to the San Francisco 49ers, Pernell McPhee is now with the Chiacgo Bears, Owen Daniels continues to follow Gary Kubiak and is now a member of the Denver Broncos, Haloti Ngata left the charm city for the Detroit Lions and Tyrod Taylor went to the Buffalo Bills in hopes of finally getting a chance at playing time.
The Ravens did retain running back Justin Forsett and safety Anthony Levine while adding Kendrick Lewis, a safety who played for the Houston Texans in 2014.
The Bengals have been an AFC North team who hasn't lost much via free agency, but has made moves with eyes on more moves to come. The Bengals retained guards Clint Boling and Eric Winston, brought back Michael Johnson from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and signed A.J. Hawk from the Green Bay Packers.
The only player the the Bengals have currently lost to free agency is tackle Marshall Newhouse who signed with the New York Giants. Tight end Jermaine Gresham also remains floating around free agency, and the Bengals seem content to let him fully test the market.
The Browns are typically players in free agency, but they have seen both some key additions as well as key departures after just a week of free agency. The Browns have seen tight end Jordan Cameron leave for the Miami Dolphins, cornerback Buster Skrine depart for the New York Jets, outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard go to the New England Patriots and quarterback Brian Hoyer join the Houston Texans.
All of those departures were negated by plenty of free agent acquisitions. The Browns brought in cornerback Tramon Williams from the Green Bay Packers, quarterback Thad Lewis from the Texans, Brian Hartline from the Dolphins, quarterback Josh McCown from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and retained wide receiver Marlon Moore.
The Steelers have been quiet on the free agency front after the first week. The Steelers lost cornerback Brice McCain to the Dolphins, but haven't lost another free agent this offseason. In terms of acquisitions, the Steelers picked up running back DeAngelo Williams from the Carolina Panthers to help bolster their backfield depth.
Other than releasing players like Lance Moore and Brett Keisel, the Steelers have been more spectators through free agency than anything else electing to re-signing several of their own restricted free agent players to one-year tenders. Some might not like the philosophy and wish the team made more moves, but the cap-strapped Steelers were simply not in a position to negotiate with many high priced free agents who were on the market.