Ben Tate is a Brown… and other Ravens Rival upgrades…

Arguably one of the best running backs in the NFL right now, Houston's Ben Tate has signed with the Cleveland Browns…

So now the Ravens have another "Big Ben" in their division to contain…

Rust never sleeps, and neither do the Ravens' AFC North division rivals, all of whom have made significant signings so far in Free Agency.

Garrett Downing (Baltimore did a nice summary  of how the Ravens' division rivals have strengthened their rosters so far in 2014, as of March 16th:

Pittsburgh Steelers

Added: FS Mike Mitchell, NT Cam Thomas

Lost: RB Jonathan Dwyer, DE Ziggy Hood, TE/FB David Johnson, and DE Al Woods

Re-signed: LB Jason Worilds, S Will Allen, OL Cody Wallace and LS Greg Warren

Overview: The Steelers entered free agency without much money to make a big splash on the market. They are routinely pressed tight against the salary cap, and this season is no different. Salary cap concerns forced the Steelers to part ways with linebacker LaMarr Woodley, who then signed with the Oakland Raiders. The Steelers also lost free agent wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who is expected to sign with the Denver Broncos. Sanders would be a fairly significant loss, but the Steelers aren’t going through a big roster overhaul as most of their key players are already under contract for next year.  This offseason is similar to recent years for the Steelers, where they are again fairly quiet in free agency.

Cleveland Browns

Added: RB Ben Tate, SS Donte Whitner, ILB Karlos Dansby, TE Jim Dray, CB Isaiah Trufant

Lost: SS T.J. Ward, G Shawn Lauvao

Re-signed: K Billy Cundiff

Overview: This is the first offseason for new General Manager Ray Farmer and Head Coach Mike Pettine, as the Browns underwent another front office shuffle after the season. The Browns came into the offseason with loads of salary cap space, and used the early part of free agency to improve their defense. They added Whitner and Dansby to replace Ward and recently-released linebacker D’Qwell Jackson. The Browns then added Tate, who was regarded as the best running back on the market and should fit well into their zone running scheme. Cleveland could also steal restricted free agent wide receiver Andrew Hawkins from the rival Bengals. The other question for the Browns is what ends up happening with center Alex Mack after they placed the transition tag on him. Mack could visit with some other teams around the NFL, but the Browns have the ability to match any offer that he gets. Keeping the Pro Bowl center is a top priority for Cleveland. The other big move by the Browns was releasing quarterback Brandon Weeden, a first-round pick in 2012.

Cincinnati Bengals

Added: Linebacker Dontay Moch

Lost: LT Anthony Collins, DE Michael Johnson, CB Brandon Ghee, OLB James Harrison, C Kyle Cook

Re-signed: WR Brandon Tate, OL Mike Pollak, LB Vincent Rey, S Taylor Mays

Overview: Despite having money to spend, the Bengals have been quiet in free agency. They lost starters in Collins and Johnson, and also appear likely to lose wide receiver Andrew Hawkins to the Browns, who signed the restricted free agent to an offer sheet. The Bengals could match the Browns’ offer to keep Hawkins in Cincinnati. Cincinnati is historically frugal in free agency, which is part of the reason they have $27 million in cap space. The biggest deal the Bengals have made during free agency is working out a new deal for Head Coach Marvin Lewis, who was extended through the 2015 season.


Thomas Jackson

About Thomas Jackson

Jax Sports Media has been reporting on NFL teams in the mid-Atlantic region since 2006. Thomas Jackson is its senior writer. Tom started covering the Philadelphia Eagles for the MVN Network in 2007. In 2009 he joined the Bloguin Network. He now also covers the Baltimore Ravens.