Home Bengals AFC North Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens

AFC North Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens



The Bengals made a number of additions in free agency this year to try and turn their defense from a liability into a strength. Cincinnati dropped big bucks on DT D.J. Reader and CB Trae Waynes, snatched up S Vonn Bell and CB Mackensie Alexander, and bolstered their depth with LB Josh Bynes and CB LeShaun Sims. Something each of those players have in common, too, is they were in the playoffs last season with their former teams.  

“When you get a guy fresh off a playoff run, that’s still very fresh in his mind of how he approached the season, how they attacked it as a team,” Bengals HC Zac Taylor said via the Associated Press. “It certainly helps our culture when you add guys that have recently been playing for a championship, and obviously that’s where we intend to be very quickly.”


  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports the belief is the Browns got closer to signing DE Jadeveon Clowney than any of the other teams that have pursued him so far. 
  • Clowney is weighing various short-term deals after not finding the market he expected in free agency this year. 


The Ravens led the NFL in scoring last season with 64 touchdowns, a staggering 58 of which were on offense. Still, Baltimore isn’t satisfied heading into 2020. 

“Hopefully we can build our offense to the point where — as we say, to be undefendable,” Ravens GM Eric Decosta said via ESPN’s Jamison Hensley.

One place the Ravens could add to their offense is wide receiver. Baltimore took Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin in the first and third round respectively last year. The Ravens expect both to take a step forward but the depth of the class in 2020 is too much to pass up. 

“This happens to be a wide receiver class with a lot of really good players, and if we’re on the clock and we think that guy is the best player, we’ll probably pick him,” DeCosta said. “I know our scouts have found some guys they’re excited about at the wideout position. So, we’ll just see how it falls.”

The Ravens’ biggest need offensively is on the interior offensive line. As things stand currently, they’ll need to replace potentially two starters — retired G Marshal Yanda and injured C Matt Skura. Baltimore has a pair of 2019 rookies they like in UDFA C Patrick Mekari and fourth-round G Ben Powers, but addressing the area further will be chief among their priorities. 

“We’re going to have to really do a great job there,” Ravens HC John Harbaugh said. “That’s one of the biggest challenges. It’s probably job [number one or two]. We’ve got to make sure that we do a great job of making sure the interior offensive line is all set. … We’ve got to look at all the players, try to find the best fits.”

And while they led the NFL in rushing last year, the Ravens haven’t ruled out taking a running back at some point. Mark Ingram will turn 31 this year, Gus Edwards will be an unrestricted free agent in 2021 and Justice Hill might not be more than a third-down back. 

“We feel like we have a really good group of running backs on our team, and it’ll just basically be who’s available when we pick,” DeCosta said. “There are certainly running backs all throughout the draft in each round — first round all the way through the seventh round — guys that we think have the opportunity to come in and help us be the best team we can be, and we’ll look at that.”

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