Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 3/3/13
A look at some of the top story lines in the AFC North as the NFL free agency period looms on the horizon:Baltimore - The Ravens made quarterback Joe Flacco the highest-paid quarterback in NFL history, signing him to a six-year, $120 million contract. The move was seen by many as not only the right thing to do, but also necessary.The problem for the Ravens is that they still have several free agents to re-sign, most notably Ed Reed, Anquan Boldin, and Dannell Ellerbe among others. Not to mention that veteran center Matt Birk recently announced his retirement.In the end, this move may end up panning out much like Peyton Manning's deal in Indy in 2004. For now, it would seem the Ravens have too many question marks to address on their roster. Cincinnati - Bengals' middle linebacker Rey Maualuga becomes a free agent this year, and re-signing the fourth-year veteran from USC must be seen as a priority for the franchise. It seems funny to say that Maualuga was second on the team in tackles in 2012 with 122. What isn’t funny is his importance to Cincinnati’s defense.The Bengals also need to address issues in the secondary, and there are some interesting names available in the free agent market. At the end of the day, though, they may just look to the Draft to address this issue. Cleveland - The Browns have been linked to several high-profile wide receiver free agents, including Mike Wallace of Pittsburgh and Kansas City's Steve Breaston. The Browns' interest in the aforementioned individuals appears to be cursory at best, as reports have now surfaced they are looking to land a top-flight tight end.Of course, this is coming from an organization that passed on both Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski, and the former even came with a very high recommendation from former Browns' great, Bernie Kosar. Pittsburgh - The Steelers, willing to let Mike Wallace shop the free agent market, have apparently found his replacement already. Kansas City's Steve Breaston is the top candidate to replace Wallace, and what he may lack in speed he makes up for in route running ability. In addition, it also seems apparent the black and gold feel that Antonio Brown is a more explosive wide out anyway. 
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Tony Romo ‘believes it’s Texans or retirement’

Clay Matthews Sr. passes away at 88

WWE’s Kane is inching toward running for mayor in Tennessee

Jung Ho Kang denied visa for DUI, may miss 2017 MLB season

Jets not ready to say Josh McCown will be starter

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Sens owner on Sidney Crosby: He’s 'a whiner' and should be suspended for Methot slash

Report: Griffin could be growing more open to leaving Clippers

Brandon Brooks accepts wedding invite from Eagles fan

Report: Josh Gordon expected to get reinstatement update in May

Landon Donovan retires from soccer again, this time for good

No discipline for Crosby for slashing off Methot’s fingertip

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker