One Player from Each AFC North Team That Could Be Cut

One Player from Each AFC North Team That Could Be Cut

Ayden Fahlstrom
3 years ago
3 min read
One Player from Each AFC North Team That Could Be Cut

Football season is rapidly approaching, with the first game set to take place on September 9 between the Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The AFC North is widely considered to be one of, if not the toughest division in professional football, due to the quality of the teams: the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, and Cincinnati Bengals.

While every team has its positives— some more than others— there are also question marks within every roster. When it boils down to it, there is at least one player on every roster that has their spot in jeopardy heading into the fall campaign; they are as follows.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers are the defending champions of the AFC North, coming off of a 12-4 season that ended with a Wild Card loss to the rival Cleveland Browns. They have a stout defense, led by one of the best pass rushes in football, which is partnered by an experienced and savvy offense.

The player in danger of being cut from the team is Dwayne Haskins, a newcomer that signed with Pittsburgh last season after being cut by the Washington Football Team. Haskins has failed to live up to the hype that he had received after finishing as a top-three Heisman candidate and being taken 15th overall, only managing to throw for 2,804 yards, 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 16 career games.

Cleveland Browns

The Browns have managed to pull themselves out of the basement after a treacherous start to the 21st century and are now one of the best and brightest teams in pro football. Led by quarterback Baker Mayfield, the Browns are spoiled by offensive talent and could be one of the most productive units in 2021.

The defense has been solid, though not as good as the offense; one player, in particular, that could be biting their fingernails is Robert Jackson, a cornerback who has only recorded six tackles and one pass deflection in his first two seasons in the NFL. With studs Denzel Ward and Troy Hill grabbing the starting spots and young talents like Greedy Williams and rookie Greg Newsome II expected to receive most of the backup snaps, Jackson is dangerously near the back of the Browns plans.

Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens finished second in the division last year and were one of three teams to make the playoffs out of the AFC North, largely behind the play of former MVP Lamar Jackson. The Ravens have crafted the league’s most feared rushing attack, easily winning the race for most yards last season and having three consistent options to carry the ball—Jackson, Gus Edwards, and J.K. Dobbins.

The Ravens attempted to strengthen their passing game by acquiring wide receiver Sammy Watkins, a former Kansas City Chief, but he could soon be on the chopping block. Watkins is one of the most injury-prone players in football. Because his contract is only for one year, with a guarantee of $5 million, the Ravens could easily cut bait with their new hire if it does not work out.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals finished last in the AFC North, struggling mightily after they lost their starting quarterback, Joe Burrow, and starting running back, Joe Mixon, to injuries. The Bengals have a lot of areas for improvement and are the weakest team in the division yet again.

A major area of concern this offseason was the offensive line, who failed to protect Burrow in the 10 games that he was active. A returning member of this group, Xavier Su’a-Filo, could face an unfortunate end to his time in Cincy as a result, having already been cut by the Tennessee Titans and not offered an extension with the Houston Texans in his career. Su’a-Filo is expected to start at left guard but is ranked unfavorably by Pro Football Focus and could be in jeopardy of losing his spot regardless of his health, which he does not have a good record with.

Share article on: