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NFL Notes: 49ers, Browns, Cardinals, Ravens, Steelers

49ers

  • Peter Schrager mentions former Buccaneers GM Mark Dominik and former Lions GM Martin Mayhew as two names to keep an eye on for front office jobs for the 49ers.

Browns

  • Mary Kay Cabot isn’t sure the Browns are sold on Clemson QB DeShaun Watson just yet, even though she spoke to a number of experts at the Senior Bowl who would take him No. 1 overall. In the end, Cabot believes Watson has a “steep climb” to be the first overall pick.
  • Cabot did, however, speak to some other experts who prefer UNC’s Mitch Trubisky and one source even said he would rate him over Jared Goff and Carson Wentz. Cabot adds that if the Browns were to take him, they may have to give him time to develop, but he could be their long-term solution at the position.

Cardinals

Cardinals HC Bruce Arians said “there’s nothing to confirm” regarding the possibility of QB Carson Palmer and WR Larry Fitzgerald possibly retiring this offseason.

I’ve spoken to Carson and Larry every week since the season,” Arians said, via Kent Somers of AZCentral Sports. “Neither one has come to a decision. It’s up to them. I feel comfortable with where they’re at and what’s going to happen. Like everybody else, got my fingers crossed. I think when the juices start flowing and the injuries go away, they’ll both be back. But there’s nothing to confirm yet.”

Arians said that he hopes to know their plans by the start of free agency and that the Cardinals are preparing their options for whichever decision they come to.

We would like to know by when free agency starts (March 9),” Arians said. “We have plans both ways, they come back and then both retiring. We have our options ready to go.”

  • Arians also mentioned that Cardinals S Tyrann Mathieu is completely recovered from his shoulder injury, while his surgically repaired knee is “96 percent” healed. (Josh Weinfuss)

Ravens

  • According to Alex Marvez, Ravens TE Crockett Gillmore said a “broken back” during the 2016 season.
  • Marvez adds that Gilmore is coming off two shoulder surgeries and two torn hamstrings in different spots.

Steelers

Steelers president Art Rooney said that he expects QB Ben Roethlisberger to return next season, despite recently saying on 93.7 The Fan that he is contemplating retirement.

Coming off a long season and a tough loss, and in this age in his career it’s not crazy to have thoughts about, ‘What’s the rest of my career going to be like?’ So, I think we had a good conversation,” said Rooney, via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. “Obviously, he’s got to make his decision. I expect he’ll be back but he’s got to make that decision.”

Additionally, Rooney said the team plans on signing WR Antonio Brown to a long-term contract this offseason and that he is not concerned about Brown’s off-the-field issues.

Our intention is to try to get a contract extension done with Antonio,” Rooney said. “We’ll get to work on that … Some of the off-the-field things, I think, for the most part are things that I don’t think had a big impact on the team. Hopefully in the future he’ll keep them to the minimal type of distractions.”

As for impending free agent RB LeVeon Bell, Rooney indicated that the team wants to sign him to a long-term contract and that he is confident that Bell has learned from his substance-abuse suspensions from the last two years.

I feel like it is and he understands what he needs to do to be a successful player in this league for the long term,” Rooney said. “I’m confident he’ll be a player we can count on in the future.”