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Around AFC North: Mendenhall will start

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Around AFC North: Mendenhall will start

The Steelers may be missing some key players for Sundays' game vs. the Ravens, but Rashard Mendenhall is expected to reclaim his role as the starting running back.

Mendenhall, who had knee surgery last season, and has been slow to recover, also has been dealing with a sore Achilles. Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman have been filling in, each having a 100-yard rushing performance in three of the last four games for Pittsburgh.

"It's going to be tough to be able to deal with all three of us," Redman said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The Steelers are expected to dress all six running backs for the games.

The Ravens rank near the bottom of the NFL in almost every defensive statistical category.

Cleveland Browns: Kick return Joshua Cribbs cracked under questioning about his reduced role.

Going into Sunday’s game at the Dallas Cowboys, Cribbs told the Plain Dealer: “I feel like I'm trapped. I feel like a caged athlete."

Cribbs only has touched the ball in the offense eight times, six receptions for 54 yards and a pair of runs totaling 8. Known as a game-changer, Cribbs is third in the NFL in kickoff return average and fourth in punts.

He has taken a sharp downturn under second-year coach Pat Shurmur. Cribbs caught a career-high 41 passes for 518 yards and four touchdowns in 2011.

"Me going from being able to run the wildcat, to playing receiver last season and catching 41 passes and four touchdowns to nothing, I can't believe it," said Cribbs told the Plain Dealer. "By me not playing, I feel like they think I'm not good, that I've lost it. But I haven't. I feel when I'm out there I can contribute, but I'm not able to."

Cribbs is in the final year of his contract.

Bengals: Receiver Andrew Hawkins was added to the injury report as questionable because he tweaked his knee in practice Friday. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, it isn’t serious and he could be a game-time decision when the Bengals meet the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

Linebacker Rey Maualuga was fined $15,750 for unnecessary roughness for his hit on N.Y. Giants receiver Domenik Hixon during the first quarter of their game a week ago.

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Dez Bryant turned down multi-year deal from Ravens, is banking on himself in 2018

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USA TODAY Sports

Dez Bryant turned down multi-year deal from Ravens, is banking on himself in 2018

If you want to sign Dez Bryant in 2018, it will have to be on a one-year deal.

The 29 year-old wide receiver turned down a multi-year offer from the Baltimore Ravens in hopes of finding a one-year deal that enables him to test the open market again in 2019, Ed Werder of The Doomsday Podcast first reported.

Bryant - who finished 2017 with 69 receptions, 838 yards and six touchdowns -  is predicating a bounce back season in 2018 with hopes of a big money, long-term contract in 2019.

The offer was similar to that of Michael Crabtree's three-year, $21 million deal, according to NFL Insider Ian Rapoport. The Ravens had to offer Bryant a multi-year deal in order to fit his number under the salary cap.

Since turning down their offer, the Ravens signed former Saints WR Willie Snead to a two-year, $10.4 million contract. 

Bryant will now have to wait until after the 2018 NFL Draft to work out a deal with an organization, if one is still searching for a wide receiver going in to the tail end of his career. 

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Ahead of NFL Draft, Ravens add to wide receiver corps with Willie Snead

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USA TODAY Sports

Ahead of NFL Draft, Ravens add to wide receiver corps with Willie Snead

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Receiver Willie Snead has bid farewell to the Saints, which means New Orleans apparently won't match the contract the Baltimore Ravens offered the restricted free agent.

Eager to add a target for quarterback Joe Flacco, the Ravens on Friday offered Snead a two-year, $10.4 million contract. The Saints had five days to match the deal. Snead indicated Monday on Twitter that he's headed out of New Orleans.

Snead tweeted: "What I'm going to miss most is the men in the locker room & the coaches."

He added: "Even though I'm sad to go, I'm even more excited for the next chapter in my life. I can't wait to strap it on as a Baltimore Raven."

Hampered by a three-game suspension and a hamstring injury, Snead was limited to eight catches for 92 yards last year.

In 2015, he had 69 receptions for 984 yards. He caught 72 passes for 895 yards in 2016.

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