AFC North Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens


Former Bengals QB Andy Dalton said the delay of his release after not being traded during the 2020 NFL Draft has limited his options for finding a new team this offseason. 

“This year there were a good amount of quarterbacks that were available,” Dalton said, via Ben Baby of ESPN. “I think it would have worked out differently if I had been a free agent when the new league year started. I was still under contract and that hurt me.”

Dalton believes other teams did not see a benefit in trading for him, given the Bengals were expected to eventually release him.

“I’m sure teams knew they [the Bengals] were going to take a quarterback No. 1 and they would release me and there was no reason to rush into anything,” Dalton said. 


After being targeted only ten times in 2019, WR Rashard Higgins agreed to return to the Browns on a one-year deal worth $910,000. Higgins says he turned down more money with multiple teams in order to return to Cleveland.

“I want to see us prevail,’’ he told Mary Kay Cabot of “I want to see us win, so I couldn’t give it up that easy. I’m not in it for the money, I’m in it for the glory. I’d rather just win with a team that I’ve been with.’’

Higgins believes both GM Andrew Berry and QB Baker Mayfield are excited for him to come back, noting that Mayfield likely had a say in his return.

“I kind of felt like, ‘I know what I’m capable of, they know what I’m capable of, [GM] Andrew Berry knows what I’m capable of,’” he said. “The film doesn’t lie. I’m a good receiver, and I feel like me and Baker [Mayfield] having a good chemistry that can go a long way. … I know people look at that kind of stuff. … I’m sure he had some type of say-so in it. He was the one I talked to. He’s excited. We’re ready to get back to work.”

Higgins said HC Kevin Stefanski has reached out to him has added he has also been in contact with new WR coach Chad O’Shea

“He told me congratulations and I told him thanks for believing in me,’’ Higgins said about his interaction with Stefanski. “I’m just excited to get in that building. … “He’s somebody that believes in — believes a lot in me, actually,’’ Higgins said of O’Shea. “We’ve been talking a lot and we just can’t wait to work together. He’s been around a lot of great receivers and just the way he’s seen guys routes, that’s the way I mimic my game because I’m a very good route runner. I can’t wait to be coached by him and it’ll be a fun season.’’


Ravens GM Eric DeCosta said he expects OC Greg Roman to get all four of their running backs involved in their rushing attack this season. 

I would equate it to us last year having the tight ends that we had – the three tight ends,” DeCosta said, via “Greg did an amazing job of taking those tight ends and really creating something special that made us very tough for defenses to play. And now we’ve got the four running backs and they all do different things well. It just makes us, I think, a really, really well-rounded team that’s tough to defend.”

Baltimore used the No. 55 overall pick on Dobbins. DeCosta explained that they simply could not pass on him at that point. 

“We were ecstatic to get J.K.,” DeCosta said. “He was by far – by far – the highest-rated guy that we had on the board. We kind of felt like he fell out of the sky right to us, the type of team that we are to get a running back like that. These guys can all do different things, they should be fresh for four quarters. I think we protect ourselves in case of injuries or things like that. It fortifies us, it makes us stronger, and it gives us a guy with home run potential.”

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