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Browns GM Farmer could be feeling the heat

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Browns GM Farmer could be feeling the heat

Is it too early — before training camps have even opened — to be talking about hot seats? Maybe. And even if so, ESPN.com’s AFC North correspondents have reached a consensus about who’s sitting on one.

Three of the four say Cleveland Browns general manager Ray Farmer could be in trouble should the team struggle through yet another underwhelming season. Does that seem fair? After all, Farmer was named Browns GM only about a year and a half ago.

However, 2014’s two first-round draft picks — cornerback Justin Gilbert and quarterback Johnny Manziel — produced little but headaches in their rookie seasons. And Farmer has been suspended for four games in 2015 because he violated league rules by texting to the sideline during games.

Of course, should owner Jimmy Haslam replace Farmer, it would only continue the Browns’ lack of stability that surely has contributed to the lack of success.

Jamison Hensley writes: “Yes, it’s difficult to properly judge someone after two years on the job. But these are the Browns. They’re on their fourth general manager in six years. Stability in the front office has been as nonexistent in Cleveland as a franchise quarterback.”

By extension, should Farmer be on the hot seat, so would be Cleveland coach Mike Pettine. New GMs usually like to bring in new coaches.

The correspondents mention two others who may be feeling the heat: Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, who has been unable to win a playoff game despite regular-season success, and Keith Butler, who is replacing the legendary Dick LeBeau as Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator.

Butler, writes Pat McManamon, “has the unenviable task of following perhaps the greatest assistant coach in NFL history, and doing so without many of the players who made the Steelers what they were over the years.”

MORE RAVENS: Report: Tom Brady won't go down without a fight

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: DeCosta looking at 2019 NFL Draft as opportunity to address remaining needs

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: DeCosta looking at 2019 NFL Draft as opportunity to address remaining needs

Here's the latest Baltimore Ravens news as general managers and head coaches gather in Phoenix, Az for the NFL Annual League Meeting. 

Player Notes: 

- General manager Eric DeCosta likes the way the Ravens' secondary is looking with Jimmy Smith, and said it would be "foolish" to turn a strength on the team into a weakness by potentially parting ways with the cornerback.

“It’s a very fluid process," DeCosta said via the Ravens' website. "We’re in good shape right now salary-cap wise. Jimmy’s a good player. We’ve got a really, really good secondary and it’s a passing league. I think that’s important.”

Smith carries a $15.85 million salary cap hit in 2019.

- The Ravens are looking at the 2019 NFL Draft as an opportunity to address their needs at wide receiver and pass rusher, according to comments made by DeCosta Monday. Free agency brought the departures of Michael Crabtree, John Brown, C.J. Mosley, Terrell Suggs and Za'Darius Smith leaving huge holes to fill in both areas. 

- The door hasn't been shut on re-signing free agent defensive end Brent Urban. In 2018, Urban appeared in all 16 regular season games for the Ravens posting 27 combined tackles and two passes defensed. 

- QB Robert Griffin III is being sued by his former agent Ben Dogra for unpaid marketing and endorsement fees, according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports. Dogra claims RGIII owes him over $650,000 as part of an agreement for 15% share of marketing and endorsement deals negotiated while he was Griffin's agent. The QB fired Dogra back in 2018. 

- One of the many potential rule changes being discussed this week at the Annual League Meeting is expanding replays during a game. The potential rule change has come front and center after the NFC Championship game between the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams, and it's something head coach John Harbaugh is in favor of. 

“If we can put somebody up there in the box that’s got a better angle that can help officiate the game from up there, let’s do that," Harbaugh said back in January. "Because at the end of the game, it’s about the credibility of the sport.”

Click here to see a few of the potential changes being discussed. 

Looking Ahead: 

March 24-27: Annual League Meeting in Phoenix, Az.

April 15: Voluntary OTA's may begin

April 19: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets

MORE RAVENS NEWS: 

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Get to know Earl Thomas and Mark Ingram

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Get to know Earl Thomas and Mark Ingram

We are here to help you get your workweek started with the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

Player Notes: 

Running back Mark Ingram is bringing two Pro Bowls, 1,321 rushing yards and 50 rushing touchdowns to the Ravens, but there's a lot about him you may not know. Did you know that his father, Mark Ingram Sr., was drafted at No. 28 overall just like his son? Probably not. Here's five things to know about Ingram via the Ravens' website. 

Safety Earl Thomas isn't just talented on the field, but off the field as well. Thomas can play piano, drums, saxophone and the organ. During his freshman year of high school, Thomas would change out of his football uniform at halftime into his band uniform to perform and then back again. Here's five things to know about Thomas via the Ravens' website

Former Ravens wide receiver Jeremy Maclin is retiring from the game. The 30-year-old made the announcement at his wife's baby shower over the weekend. Selected 19th overall by the Eagles in the 2009 NFL Draft, Maclin played for the Eagles, Chiefs and the Ravens.

Outside linebacker Tim Williams is ready to be a defensive leader for the Ravens in 2019. With the departures of Eric Weddle, Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosley and Za'Darius Smith in free agency, Williams is ready to be "that man" for the NFL's No.1 defense. 

Williams has yet to play a full season for the Ravens after being drafted in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. In 2018, the linebacker saw action in only sevens games due to hamstring and ankle injuries. 

In AFC news, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement from the league Sunday via Instagram. The 29-year-old finishes his career with 521 receptions for 7,861 yards, 79 touchdowns and three Super Bowl championship. 

Looking Ahead: 

March 24-27: Annual League Meeting in Phoenix, Az.

April 15: Voluntary OTA's may begin

April 19: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets

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